NOTICE TO THE LASQUETI COMMUNITY
FROM THE FIRE CHIEF

It has been over six months since the Lasqueti Island Volunteer Fire Department instituted a new emergency protocol with Sudbury-based Northern911. This protocol evolved from a community-wide initiative, directed by the Emergency Dispatch Response Committee (EDAC) of 2016. The intent is to manage all emergencies through a call centre service, operational 24/7.

The new protocol is deemed effective. At the same time, I would like to review the process to provide clarity and ensure the safety of the community.

For all emergencies use the ten-digit toll free number 1-855-871-1175. An alternate local number 250-954-4432 essentially redirects to the 10-digit toll free number.

A call taker at Northern911 will answer your call, gather pertinent details, and redirect your call as appropriate. Simultaneously, Northern911 sends detailed notification to LIVFD personnel to mobilize a response.

BCAS requires an address before proceeding, despite the fact that Lasqueti residents do not have formal addresses. In preparation for an eventual call, determine a descriptive address that will enable First Responders and Fire Fighters to quickly identify your location. Post the address near the laminated Emergency Call card in your home for easy access.

You can assist with expediting a response as follows:

  • Provide concise information on the situation and contact numbers. Do not turn off your phone.

  • Give the name of the person involved (this will help identify the location)

  • Provide as complete information as possible about the location (nearby roads, driveways, landmarks)

  • If your location is remote or not easily accessible, turn on lights or vehicle lights and, if possible, enlist the help of others to stand near trail entrances or driveways to direct incoming personnel to the scene.

 

In the case of a medical emergency, after taking pertinent details, Northern911 will connect you to BC Ambulance Services (BCAS). Once you are connected with BCAS, Northern911 disconnects from the call.

We have heard of instances where people have hesitated to call. Please “bother us”. Our First Responders put in many hours of training and practice and we are ready to help.

Last summer, emergency services response throughout British Columbia experienced unfortunate delays. This not attributed to the Lasqueti Fire Department or Northern911. It was endemic throughout the province. Staff shortages, COVID, wildfires, extreme heat events and the opioid crisis have been identified as contributing factors.

To recap:

  • DO NOT dial 911

  • DO NOT contact BCAS directly

  • CALL 1-855-871-1175 - Program this number in your phone.

  • Post the laminated Emergency Contact card in a visible location in your home. Extra cards are available upon request.

 

Thank you for your cooperation – let’s stay safe together.

Richard Carlson, Fire Chief LIVFD
Phone: 250-240-4128 | Email: livfdchief@qathet.ca