2018 was another busy year for the Quesnel Volunteer Fire Department.

Fire Chief Sylvain Gauthier goes over some of the numbers….

“We had 443 responses, of which 221 were group pages meaning the entire fire department was called in. Of that we had 10 structure fires, 10 vehicle fires and four fires at our local mills.”

Gauthier says the number of calls were up slightly from the previous year’s total of 440, although the number of structure fires were down from 21.

There were also less group pages.

Gauthier says that is due to a policy change

“Last year we made some changes to the categories, how many times we’re going to call all members of the fire department. And by doing that it has reduced the number of calls by about 80 to 90 calls a year which makes it better for our volunteers.”

He says the 39 members, including five new recruits, put in a total of nine thousand volunteer man hours.

Gauthier says they also had eight members help out with the wildfires in the Burns Lake area…

“Our members were deployed for 28 days and with eight members taking part and basically each member worked an average of 90 hours during their seven day deployment.”

Gauthier says there are also new rules and regulations for fighting forest fires…

“Basically members were only allowed to work 12 to 13 hours a day, compared to last year when some members were working 18,19, 20 hours a day. Worksafe went in and said the maximum is 12 hours on the fire ground, and an hour to travel back and forth.”

Gauthier says Quesnel residents as well as those in the CRD, the Red Bluff and Dragon Lake areas, should be proud of the volunteer members.

He says they have an awesome group of members down here that are ready to, at the drop of a hat, come to work and do what’s needed to help the population in times of need.