(The following message dated today was received in a media release from Vancouver Fire Fighters IAFF Local 18 (Robert Weeks, President). Some of these points are rather disturbing, and the public should keep an eye on these things. Is there a money shortage resulting in safety cutbacks?)
In 2015 94% of Vancouver fire fighters indicated they had no confidence in the leadership at Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services. Fire fighters are renewing a call to Mayor Gregor Robertson to look into the leadership issues at the department and a series of recent decisions that will impact public safety.
Staffing shortage in Kitsilano
Over the weekend Fire Chief John McKearney directed staff to remove Medic 12 from service due to staffing decisions. This fire truck deemed necessary to public safety by city commissioned reports and North American standards is arbitrarily being taken out of service with a lack of regard for public safety. “The fire fighters from Medic 12 not only provide a quick response to medical emergencies but they are positioned at the Kitsilano firehall to increase the depth of response to fire emergencies which dramatically improves our rescue response.” “Removing these firefighters from our response to emergencies puts the public and fire fighters at an unnecessary risk,” says Robert Weeks, Vancouver Fire Fighters President.
Continuing a trend of taking resources from the west side of the city.
Rather than increase staffing as the City’s own $400,000 study recommended the City of Vancouver has removed an apparatus from Kerrisdale, left large parts of the west side of the city empty during a large fire, now looks to be cutting a truck out of Kitsilano. Future plans include taking two fire fighters out of the West End. Vancouver’s West End is one of the most densely populated areas in North America. Cutting the fire fighting capacity in a high hazard area is a public safety issue. “Protecting the lives and property of residents is an elected city council’s number one responsibility.” “Vancouver is a world-class city that deserves a world-class fire department.” “We are hopeful that Mayor Robertson and Vancouver city council will address the situation at Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services and issue direction that will provide for the safety of citizens and fire fighters.”
Vancouver Fire Fighters IAFF Local 18
www.iaff18.org Twitter: @iaff18 Facebook: Vancouver Fire Fighters