Fire Chief Sylvain Gauthier says they responded to 440 calls, down from 520 in 2019, but very similar to both 2017 and 2018.
Gauthier says that number includes 53 calls for motor vehicle incidents, 16 vehicles fires and 28 structure fires, which was up from 25 the previous year.
Despite that, he says the dollar loss due to damage was down from 750 thousand dollars in 2019…
“Property lost, everything that was lost due to fires which would include all the vehicles and everything like that, it comes to just above 385 thousand dollars.”
Gauthier says there were five fires of note this past year…
“We had a couple of residential fires, two at the mills, and an apartment fire on Doherty. We also had various vehicle fires, not too many grass fires, lots of dumpster fires.”
Gauthier says members response times were very impressive this year…
“With all the issues that COVID presented to the Quesnel Fire Department. Our average response time, so from the time we got paged, received the call, to the time we showed up on scene, our average time was 8 minutes and 40 seconds.”
Gauthier says that’s despite all of the additional precautions that they had to take, and he says it seemed busier on the roads this year, something he feels is due to the fact that people wanted to get out of their house due to COVID.
He says they finished the year with 34 members, down from 37, although he says they have four new recruits starting next month.
Gauthier says they can always use more help…
“We keep pushing trying to get some more recruits. If people want to join we’re always taking applications and we’re trying to push right now to see if we can gt a couple of more people join by the end of January.”
Applications can be dropped off at the fire hall.
On average, Gauthier says members averaged more than 200 hours of volunteer service last year, time that includes training and responses.