BC’s Professional Fire Fighters handle all types of fires - house fires, apartment fires, industrial fires, vehicle fires, wildland fires - to name a few.
The number of fire fighters responding to a fire varies from one jurisdiction to the next, and depends on the severity of the fire. Some jurisdictions immediately respond with two fire suppression personnel, while others send four to six fire fighters per engine. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that 15 - 17 personnel respond to a single family house fire, due to the many tasks and responsibilities which need to be taken care of at a fire scene.
and Equipment Rescue
At times, fire fighters are required to stabilize vehicle accident scenes and to plan an efficient and expedient rescue. When a few wasted seconds can cost lives, sometimes the Jaws of Life are utilized to remove victims from the crashed vehicle. These hydraulic tools are specially designed to remove patients from vehicles.
Often the fire fighter must ensure that the vehicle is stable so it does not shift during the rescue, which could endanger both those that are injured and the emergency personnel on scene. They help the injured by providing medical assistance – supporting their head and neck, and stabilizing any broken bones, dressing open wounds, etc. – before other medical assistance arrives.
All of BC’s Professional Fire Fighters are licensed First Responders. From a child choking, to a person suffering a heart attack or a fall, the fire fighter provides pre-hospital care when someone is injured or experiences a medical problem. In some departments, fifty to seventy-five per cent of the day’s work is responding to First Responder type incidents. BC's Professional Fire Fighters in several municipalities are working to expand the level
Hazardous Materials Response
The number of unknowns often poses a larger threat than the spill, leak, fire or break. HazMat teams are trained to handle material spills, leaks and fires. They include: natural and chlorine gas leaks, gasoline spills, fuel tanker, rail car, boat and industrial accidents, in addition to chemical spills and radiation leakage.
Hazmat incidents are potentially one of the most dangerous and unpredictable types of calls fire fighters can respond to and every call is a potential HazMat call. Each year thousands of fire fighters are exposed to chemical and biological hazards in the performances of their duties.
Technical Rescue can be broken down into many different, but related, disciplines. Rope rescues, including high angle rescue and confined space rescues both use ropes to other hardware to rig rescue systems to access and remove patients. Another technical rescue discipline is water rescue - from swift water to ice.
Fire and Safety Inspections
Professional Fire Fighters are often perform safety inspections while on duty. They ensure that a building complies with the B.C. Fire Code and the B.C. Building Code, that there is overall worker and community safety, and that inhabitants or workers are aware of fire escape procedures.
IAFF FIRE BASED DISPATCH
IAFF Fire Based Dispatch - Working the Frontlines for public safety in communities across BC and the Yukon.
IAFF Fire Based Dispatchers provide professional call-taking and dispatching for 313 communities across BC & the Yukon. In total, there are 240 (fulltime, part time & casuals) dispatchers operating from 10 IAFF Fire Based Dispatch Centres (Campbell River, Surrey, Langford, Saanich, Nanaimo, Prince George, Kelowna, Kamloops, Burnaby and Whitehorse). Most are based in professional IAFF Fire Halls, benefitting from fire specific training opportunities and education.
IAFF Fire Dispatchers are valued members of The British Columbia Professional Fire Fighters’ Association (BCPFFA) which has over 4000 members with 53 affiliate locals serving 4.8 Million BC citizens, including the Yukon.
Public Service Calls
From fire alarms in schools or apartment buildings, to assisting the elderly if they have fallen and are unable to get up, fire fighters often perform public service calls. 9-1-1 operators generally downstream these calls to the fire service and, depending on the department involved, they can constitute a anywhere from a minimal to a significant percentage of the day-to-day work of a fire fighter.
BCPFFA Burn Fund
Professional fire fighters throughout the province dedicate their time and skills to help burn survivors. We operates the annual Children’s Burn Camp, for young survivors of burns, and raises money to upgrade and purchase new equipment for hospitals in B.C.
In March 2016, the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund opened the Burn Fund Centre.
In addition to being the home of the BCPFF Association and Burn Fund offices, it is also a home away from home for patients and families while undergoing treatment, on discharge transition or returning for follow up treatment.
Answering a critical unmet need in the community, the Centre provides 8 short-term accommodation suites – a home away from home – for British Columbians needing to travel to Vancouver for emergency medical treatment due to burn and major trauma injuries, patients in discharge transition or returning for follow-up treatment.