PARKSVILLE – Call volumes were up over the summer for the Parksville Volunteer Fire Department.
Fire chief Mark Norris presented an update on the department activities to city council recently. He says the public were more vigilant this summer given the wildfire situation in the BC Interior.
“Many, many burning complaints were called in this year,” said Norris. “We went out to many fires, many reports of fires. Had to deal with a lot of that this summer. Fireworks complaints, those sorts of things.”
The department also dealt with 8 fire investigations. Norris says four youths are going through their fire setter program with three of them involved in the restorative justice program.
The department recap also included an update on staffing levels. They have 37 staff, 30 of them volunteers. But Norris says recruitment and retention remains a challenge.
“Seven people have left the department so far this year,” he said. “All for reasons like leaving the area for work, family changes, none of them because they didn’t like the fire department.”
Availability of volunteer on-call members during the day is an issue, according to Norris.
The department is actively looking for new volunteer members. More information is available at the Parksville Fire Department website.