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Fire Protection Services

This page was last reviewed on April 16, 2018.

fire2 oct 30 2012

Cumberland Fire Rescue volunteers aerial ladder rescue training with Courtenay Fire Department in 2013.

Cumberland Fire Rescue provides fire prevention and protection services to the residents of Cumberland. It is a volunteer department with 24 active members and 4 junior members.

The Fire Department also issues

Learn more about outdoor burning. Cumberland Fire Rescue also coordinates the Village’s Emergency Program.

Firefighter Recruitment and Training

Cumberland Fire Rescue makes Cumberland safer by responding to fires and other incidents, and protecting residents and property. Recruitment training begins intermittently so contact Fire Chief Mike Williamson at 250-336-2531 or stop by the Fire Hall to inquire about training opportunities.

For information about the junior firefighter program for 16 and 17 year olds contact the Fire Department at 250-336-2531.

Smoke Alarms Save Lives

The BC Fire Code requires that all dwellings have either hard wired or battery-operated smoke alarms installed. Ninety-five per cent of Canadian homes have at least one smoke alarm. This explains why far fewer Canadians die in house fires now than back in the 1970s. Please test your smoke alarm at least once a year. It’s easy to remember to do when the time changes each spring and fall.

A fire may build rapidly and spread toxic gases and blinding smoke throughout your home or it may start small and smolder slowly, all the while emitting deadly toxic gases. Most fatalities in house fires occur at night and are caused by breathing smoke and toxic fumes, rather than by burns. Smoke and fumes can quickly overcome residents, particularly if they are asleep. Your nose goes to sleep when you do. By detecting smoke, a smoke alarm gives an early warning of fires and sounds the alarm to wake you up.

The proper placement of smoke alarms is very important to achieve the best results and maximum protection. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions or call the Cumberland Fire Department for advice and assistance. For minimum protection, place detectors in hallways outside sleeping areas, and one alarm on each level, including the basement. A passageway or corridor between the living areas and the bedrooms is an ideal location. Homes with separate sleeping areas need extra alarms. You should have a smoke alarm within 5 m of each bedroom door.

Summer Fire Hazards

Pay close attention to the following fire hazards, especially during warm weather:

  • If you do not smoke, you have greatly reduced your chances of fire. If you do smoke, you need a safe spot to smoke. Many problems occur around wooden decks, wooden steps or back sheds. It is important to water your ashtray and make sure cigarette butts are extinguished completely and put in a fireproof container.
  • Lawnmowers, weed eaters, motorcycles, quads, combustion type tools and power saws are examples of items that create hot exhaust. If these items are placed on the grass or in the shed before cooling, a fire can start.
  • Be careful when parking your boat trailer or utility trailer. The wheel bearings get hot and if parked in grass can cause fires. Vehicles have catalytic converters that get extremely hot. If parked in brush or high grass they can easily start a fire.
  • Gas barbeques, briquettes and propane recreation fire pits still create open flame and radiate heat. These appliances may be permitted during a campfire ban, but it is still important to be aware and take proper precautions.

How to Protect Your Home From Wildfire

Reduce the hazard of wildfire by taking preventative steps. The FireSmart Homeowner’s Manual can help you protect your home.

For information on evacuation due to wildfire, see Cumberland’s Emergency Program.

Forest Fires

In the forest trails, fires can start and go undetected for long periods. Humans start fifty percent of forest fires. Our Fire Department has the equipment and training to work on wildfire operations. Future plans include installation of one or two hydrants in the community forest. We need recreational forest users to use caution and protect our forestlands.

Fighting fires in standing timber is extremely uncontrollable and dangerous. Ultimately, our priority is the safety of the Village. We may at some point need to close trails. We have allocated budget for extra patrols if extreme fire hazard situations occur. You may also see the duty officer patrolling in the evenings checking for potential problems. As a community, we must be aware and alert as this is the very best protection for our Village and for our forest.

To report a wildfire, call 911. To report columns of smoke call 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 from a cell phone.

Contact

Call the Fire Department at 250-336-2531 for inquiries about

  • volunteering
  • fire prevention programs
  • school and educational programs
  • smoke detectors

Recreational burning permits (for campfires) can be obtained from the Village office or online.

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