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October 27, 2017 10:27 pm

More Staff and New Fire Hall Needed Says Report

Monday, June 13, 2016 @ 6:00 AM

city-hallPrince George, B.C.-  City Council for Prince George will  receive  a detailed report from  Prince George Fire Rescue Chief John Iverson this evening, and  it isn’t pretty.

The 147 page report was prepared by consultants Dave Mitchell and Associates. It  presents a list of 24 recommendations to improve service,  including  replacing and relocating Fire Hall #1.  The recommendation suggests the preferred site would be ” at or near Victoria and 20th Avenue. The fire hall should provide a minimum of four drive through bays.”

The recommendations also call for  more staff so the Fire Department can achieve the  requirement under the National Fire Protection Association  guidelines that call for 14  firefighters to be on scene of a structure fire within 8 minutes.  The report  notes the Prince George Fire Rescue   has not achieved that objective  even once over the past three years but explains the  reasons why “the most significant being that the majority of structure fires occur in the central part of the city which is responded primarily from Hall 1 and Hall 2. The total staffing from these two fire halls is eleven and requires the four staff from one of the fire halls to the north (Hall 4) or the west (Hall 3) to achieve the staffing and given travel times this has not been possible. For that reason, it is recommended that the Department fully staff another unit, probably at Hall 1 to provide the minimum staffing for structure fire responses.”

The focus on protective services in the City will also see  RCMP Superintendent Warren Brown  detail his  detachment’s priorities for 2016/17.  As 250News reported on  Friday,  ( see previous story),  the area of 3rd and George will be highlighted as one of the hot spots for calls for Police service.

Council will  also  make decisions on three rezoning applications.  One  calls for a rezoning to a portion of the  site  that houses Princess Auto to allow for the development of a vehicle wash.  Another  seeks an amendment to the Official community Plan and a rezoning to allow for the development of a 27 unit not for profit  seniors housing development on Spruce Street.  The third public hearing  calls for a  rezoning  on Vanier Drive to allow for mixed residential and commercial  development.

Representatives from the Ministry  of Forests will also  be on hand this evening to provide Council with an update on the state of the Prince George Timber Supply.   The Chief Forester is to  announce the new annual allowable cut   later this year,  tonight’s presentation will detail the factors examined in making  such a determination.


Might as well invest in some newer fire vehicles too. Some of those trucks are getting up there in age and they are slow, especially those yellow fire trucks.

    The red truck(s) are the new ones. The yellow ones are being replaced by red, the in colour for the next decade.

Want to add more firefighters, train volunteers.

Wow, demolish the coliseum and fire hall.. room for the PAC..is there some backroom conversations going on that the taxpayers are not aware ?

Anyone done the cost analysis to compare the cost savings of improved service (insurance rates) vs the increased taxes to cover these “improvements”?

Fire halls are boring, what this city needs is a Performing Arts Center, now that is sexy!!

    A fire hall as part of a PAC … brilliant!

      There’s gotta be a musical or revue in there somewhere…. 😈

Where are the administrative offices for the department? Most cities our size have a larger central station which houses the admin offices as well as several fire engines/companies.

The proposal for the 20th and Vitoria site is good, in my opinion. That was the suggested “optimum” site for the RCMP station as well. Good access to arterial roads.

However, there is some property on Victoria behind the WorkSafeBC building. Time the firehall got as much recognition as the RCMP got with a grandiose building beyond belief. :-)

    Work Safe BC is at 1066 Vancouver Street

    Work BC Employment Services is at 1511 Third.

    All that room you infer is a parking lot for the RCMP Palace and an empty store front tucked behind an investment house and an insurance broker.

New Fire Hall? No problem!

Give Justin a call! He can cut a cheque for infrastructure spending! That is, if there’s any money left after all of the infrastructure spending that he’s doing in OTHER countries!

No money left? No problem! Rack up the deficit!!

I look forward to Justin announcing the construction of our new “Justin Trudeau/Prince George Fire Hall #1. After all, isn’t Mayor Lynn Hall his new best friend?

    I would appreciate getting from you a list of “all of the infrastructure spending that he (Trudeau/the Canadian government) is doing in OTHER countries” if you do not mind! Thanks!

      Here’s one:

      ht tp://pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2015/11/15/prime-minister-announces-infrastructure-funding-indonesia

      Here’s another:

      ht tp://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/trudeau-pledges-15m-for-youth-job-training-in-eight-african-countries-1.2678527

      And yet another:

      ht tp://pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2015/11/19/prime-minister-announces-support-reduce-poverty-vietnam

      One more:

      ht tp://pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2015/11/27/prime-minister-announces-investment-global-climate-change-action

      How about this headline?

      “PM Trudeau sends over $3 Billion overseas in first month in office”

      ht tps://www.libertarian.ca/wastewatch/

    Funny you seem to insinuate the previous government that totally bombed in the last election strictly spent money only within Canada.

      Funny that you seem to think that I seem to insinuate anything about the previous government!

      I never insinuated anything about the previous government. Never mentioned the previous government at all! No insinuation! Nothing! None! Nada!!

      Funny you seem to be deflecting attention away from Justin and Co. Worried that all of our fears about this twit and his crew are beginning to bear fruit?

      Or am I just insinuating that Justin is an idiot? Nope, I’m not insinuating that at all! Justin IS an idiot!

“Justin Trudeau/Prince George Fire Hall #1″

Great name! Go for it!

Just want to make sure I understand this. Roads still need upgrading, sewer and waterlines still need upgrading, need to borrow money to replenish snow removal equipment, our fire protection services are undermanned (gee, not like you’d ever need firefighters – re Ft. Mc), police are undermanned.

You’d think with a list like that, you would never hear a peep about feel good projects like – first to admit it, painting and building bike lanes, sporting events, outdoor parties, trips by city council members. And then there’s the millions in grants to various community organizations. For an example – what is more important – a fire truck, or a community theatre that caters to the wealthy – no one on welfare can afford a TNW ticket.

But I guess when you have the power of taxation you can always have the best of both worlds, even if the person you’re taxing is on CPP, OAS, a small company pension, all of which got increases of 1% last year. But I guess that pensioner could go to the theatre – if he could afford it.

BTW – this isn’t an anti TNW rant, it’s an anti all that kind of stuff rant.

This is how the game is played. Fire Marshall outlines the needs of the community and makes a proposal to City Hall. (No mention of the cost of the consultants Mitchel and Co.) The City then goes through the motions of looking into this request.

Notice that the Fire Chief suggested that it be located near 20th and Victoria. So probably in the area that some people suggested that the Police station be built a few years ago. The old car lot, or perhaps further West. Has the City already have an option on property in this area?? If not then why are we making it public that we would be looking at this area.??

So, we cannot get fourteen people to respond to a fire in the required 8 minutes, and therefore we must add another unit to Firehall one. A unit would be a minimum or 4 people and more likely 5. So just for the firefighters it would cost us close to a million dollars per year. No doubt they would also want an increase in office staff, so up it goes again. There is less chance of getting to a fire in 8 minutes from 20th Ave than from 7th depending on where the fire is. So all in all this looks like nothing more than the usual smoosh to get a new building and add a few staff.

Could we train some volunteers to attend these fires and fill out the requirements. Volunteers cost much less and are used all over the Province.

    The problem with using volunteers is just that they are volunteers they have the right mindset but when it comes to training and updating certificates you are very hard pressed to get volunteers to show up consistently for proper training and updating then when an actual call comes in out of say 22 volunteers that have pagers you might be lucky to get 2 or 3 to show up and the excuses fly off the shelves then.

    I used to volunteer for COPs and did some volunteer time for one of the firehalls outside town and when calls came in sometimes the hall could not respond because not enough showed up and there was a pool of 48 people who had volunteered at the hall.

    Volunteers is a good idea but the reality is you need people dedicated to make the time otherwise your just wasting everybodies time if you do the training but never show up for a call

Volunteers used all over the Province . Operative word used/had . I thank all the fire fighters for their services . None of you should have to put your lives and health on the line for free ! What is the cost of fires and car crashes in lives if it were not for you ? Anyone that thinks that you should not be paid for your service should be ashamed of themselves and should be given no respect . Again fire fighters/ life savers thank you for helping to keep our society civil and safer . You deserve raises above inflation .

Take a listen to tonights council meeting, it will enlighten you.

Theres a shopping list of issues with the #1 hall, some of them include.

– oldest building the city owns
– In the flood plain
– too small for the requirements of a 21st century dept.
– No room to expand onsite

The City of PG got away from volunteers
over 20 yrs ago, yes Kamloops and Kelowna may still have some, but they are getting away from them too.

The Fire service in Canada is an insurance driven industry, the insurance industry sets the standards, and if the Fire Dept. doesn’t meet those standards, rates will rise.

Please take a good look at the services PGFD supplies, they are not a one trick pony.

Firstly, as full disclosure, I used to work for PGFRS as the Chief Communications Officer. I had to resign and move five years ago due to a significant health issue related to the air quality. I have not had any involvement in this report nor do I have any vested interest in its outcome. I appreciate that public safety is an important matter for taxpayers as the public safety budget (police and fire) is typically the number one budget item for municipalities. With that, I thought I would offer some factual information.

The administration offices are located at Fire Hall No. 1, as is the centralised fire dispatch centre (the centre provides dispatch services throughout central and north-west BC under a fee-for-service agreement with the regional district). Fire Hall No. 1 is subject to flooding and has been inundated in the past and this does affect operations.

There are no Fire Marshals in BC; BC has the Office of the Fire Commissioner (OFC) and for the most part, the OFC provides oversight, assistance, and guidance. Fire services in BC are legislated by way of the Fire Services Act. The operational requirements for fire services are the responsibility of the local government (municipality or regional district) and the local government is responsible for establishing the operating standards (through bylaw) as well as establishing the service standard. The industry service standards are developed by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA); NFPA addresses all aspects of the fire service including operations, training, communications, etc. Municipalities can adopt a response standard less than NFPA understanding this is a risk management issue. While I am not a lawyer, there has been legal precedence for municipalities adopting lower fire service standards based on a municipalities’ risk/benefit analysis.

Fire station location studies are conducted using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) running advanced algorithms that consider travel distance, road class, travel speed, traffic congestion based on hour of the day, total available apparatus type of apparatus, etc. There are also predictive software modelling applications that can be used to suggest the reassignment of apparatus based historical incident data.

The use of paid on call (volunteer) firefighters, in my opinion, has a benefit in municipal fire services but the senior management of the department and the municipality must consider the response time of the paid on call members (their all out) to the station to augment the career fire fighter response versus the time required to have the appropriate number of fire fighters on scene to action the fire. The response times identified by NFPA are based on scientific studies of fire behaviour and the most appropriate time to extinguish the fire to limit damage, fire spread, flash over, etc.

Municipalities must make difficult financial decisions when considering public safety expenditures as well as all of the other critically important municipal costs that must be considered, such as water and sewer infrastructure, roads, parks, etc. I imagine these are not easy decisions to make.

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