On Wednesday, Vancouver Fire Fighters IAFF Local #18 issued the following open letter to the citizens of Vancouver, asking Vancouverites to help ensure that our elected politicians, and those seeking to be elected, make public safety a greater priority. A major fire on October 3rd which called upon several fire stations and left huge swaths of Vancouver very vulnerable for hours, and which we had previous written about here, has brought the issue of overstretched fire departments back to the surface of our consciousness, but this problem has been ongoing for a long time without being properly addressed by Council - in spite of reports clearly urging remedial action.
For the Green Party of Vancouver, safety is an absolute necessity for a truly livable city. That is why we are happy to share the fire fighters' letter with you, and invite you to join them and us in calling for safety to be made a priority again.
An open Letter to the Citizens of Vancouver.
Dear Friends and Neighbours,
Re: Fire Safety Concerns
In 2013 Vancouver saw the greatest level of housing development since 1969. Since 2010 the city of Vancouver has removed 2 fire trucks from service, cut back its fire prevention division and ignored a 2010 report that recommended 20 more firefighters to meet demands.
Your fire department is falling behind and Vancouver fire fighters are very concerned.
On Friday, October 3 Vancouver fire fighters were engaged in a very large and significant fire. It required fire fighters from all over the city to extinguish the four alarm Granville Street fire. Onscene firefighters did an excellent job containing this rapidly developing fire. Behind the scenes fire department managers decided against calling in additional staff to keep other districts of the city properly protected. For a significant period of time several firehalls sat empty and large areas of the city were left without firefighters to respond in a timely manner to fire incidents or medical aid calls.
Is this how we keep Vancouver safe?
Vancouver fire fighters are taking a stand and delivering a message that public safety should be a top priority at city hall.
Please join us in a conversation about public safety at www.keepmyvancouversafe.ca
Your Vancouver Fire Fighters.