May 26, 2016
The Fire Underwriters Survey (FUS) reduced the Luck Bay Fire Protection Area’s status to “unprotected” as of December 15, 2015. While this may have an impact on home insurance rates for residents in the Luck Bay area, it does not change the Fort St. James Fire Department’s commitment to responding to all incidents within its fire protection areas.
The District of Fort St. James and the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako have taken several actions towards finding solutions to meet the minimum Fire Underwriter Service requirements for protected status. We would like to inform the public of the progress made to date.
- Fort St. James Fire Department (FSJFD) undertook an emergency intake of new recruits and a recruit course specifically for the Luck Bay area. This recruit course ended April 16th with two new recruits from the Luck Bay area completing the training. A returning member was granted a shortened probationary period to more quickly increase the number of Fire Fighters.
- In addition to the emergency intake, there has been a regularly scheduled FSJFD recruit course that began April 18th with one recruit from the Luck Bay area.
- FSJFD has been working with the FUS to better understand their rating system in order to set realistic goals toward meeting their requirements for “protected” status. This is an ongoing conversation. The Fire Underwriters’ Survey system is complex, with points given based on several criteria including; firefighter distance from home to the fire hall, distance from work to the fire hall, whether the person lives here year-round, level of training etc.
- The Fire Chief has implemented improved communication within the department, and has kept the Chief Administrative Officer, Mayor and Council and the Regional District informed of all developments.
We have not yet been able to meet the Fire Underwriters’ Survey requirements for an improved rating. While several new members have been recruited, there have also been some resignations. At present the FSJFD has 37 active members with 7 living in the Luck Bay area. Recruitment and retention of fire fighters is a continual struggle throughout British Columbia.
We encourage Luck Bay Residents to consider joining the FSJFD. We are particularly in need of fire fighters who are able to respond to calls in Luck Bay during daytime hours. Applications are always available at the Fort St. James District office for pick-up/drop-off. The deadline for the next recruit intake is noon on September 2nd.
For more information please contact:
Kevin Crook, Chief Administrative Officer
District of Fort St. James
Regional District of Bulkley Nechako