New cutline Colwood Fire Rescue anticipates a busy year ahead in 2021. (Katherine Engqvist/news Staff)

Colwood Fire Rescue (Katherine Engqvist/News Staff)

New year off to a busy start for Colwood Fire Rescue

Most West Shore departments saw the normal number of calls over holidays

If the first week of the new year is a harbinger of things to come, 2021 will be a busy one for Colwood Fire Rescue.

Chief John Cassidy said a structure fire on Jan. 1 and lots of calls for medical assistance set the tone for what he expects will be a hectic year, adding that Jan. 3 was busy as well.

“Given the pace of development in Colwood and the West Shore, we expect most West Shore departments will be busy in 2021,” Cassidy noted. “The Colwood, Langford and View Royal departments have been working together in anticipation of it getting extremely busy.”

The overall numbers for 2020 were down a little, which Cassidy attributed in part to more people staying home due to COVID-19. The department dealt with fewer car crashes and chimney fires in 2020, but medical assistance calls were up.

Although the numbers for 2020 haven’t been finalized yet, Cassidy expects the totals to be similar to 2019.

There were fewer calls for commercial alarms because more people are working from home, he noted. Although he anticipated that may lead to a spike in residential calls, that wasn’t the case. “People are staying home but being extra careful,” Cassidy said.

View Royal Fire Chief Paul Hurst said staff and volunteer firefighters were kept busy between Dec. 23 and Jan. 1, including medical calls, overdoses and assisting Colwood Fire Rescue with a structure fire at 8:30 a.m. New Year’s Day.

Firefighters also had to deal with a suicide on Christmas Day. “Those are difficult calls at any time of the year for volunteers and career firefighters,” he noted. “Overdoses don’t take a break at Christmas. I hope more people take advantage of the help and resources that are available and wish everyone a healthy, happy and prosperous new year.”

RESOURCE: Greater Victoria’s opioid crisis

Langford Fire Rescue Chief Chris Aubrey said the volume of calls for the holiday season was steady, but none were of a serious nature.

“We dealt with some issues on Dec. 21 because of the wind storm,” he said. “I’m sure it was the same for most departments on the Island. For the most part, it’s been a good start to 2021, nothing out of the ordinary that we don’t deal with on a steady basis. We haven’t had any issues with flooding so far.”

Langford Fire Rescue is currently assisting the West Shore RCMP with the search for a missing teen. “We want to get him home safe and sound,” Aubrey stressed.

Highlands Volunteer Fire Department Chief Dean Ford said the holiday season and start to the new year was uneventful for the most part. “Except for the day it snowed,” he said. “We had 26 calls, mostly hydro-related. Other than that, everyone staying home these days is keeping things quiet.”

Metchosin Fire Chief Stephanie Dunlop said it’s been a little on the quiet side in the rural community. “The amount of rain we’ve had lately has provided some different challenges, but overall it’s been pretty normal so far.”

Anyone who needs help for depression or other mental health issues can call the provincial suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-784-2433 or visit crisislines.bc.ca.

rick.stiebel@goldstreamgazette.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Following a cease work order from the District of Highlands in October, the BC Supreme Court ruled Jan. 20. that bylaws won’t apply to O.K. Industries’ work until its quarrying activity is complete. (Courtesy of District of Highlands)
BC Supreme Court rules Highlands quarry work can continue

District bylaws won’t apply until quarrying activities are complete

A worker covers up racist graffiti along the West Shore Parkway. (Courtesy of Anna Young)
RCMP investigating racist graffiti spotted off West Shore Parkway

Hateful vandalism is rare, says Langford bylaw enforcement

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely first in B.C. for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Located at 9750 West Saanich Rd., this North Saanich mansion is on the market for $10.25 million. (Realtor.ca photo)
Located at 9750 West Saanich Rd., this North Saanich mansion is on the market for $8.65 million. (Realtor.ca photo)
The five most expensive homes for sale in Greater Victoria

A roundup of luxury estates currently on the market

Sidney's Beacon Wharf
Pontoon company piqued at prospect of public-private partnership around Sidney wharf

Seagate approached to submit proposeal for public-private partnership

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Terry Keogh, an RDN Transit driver, used his paramedic skills the morning of Jan. 22 after coming across an unconscious woman along his route in downtown Nanaimo. (RDN Transit photo)
Nanaimo transit driver stops his bus and helps get overdosing woman breathing again

Former EMT from Ireland performed CPR on a woman in downtown Nanaimo on Friday

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

An Atlantic salmon is seen during a Department of Fisheries and Oceans fish health audit at the Okisollo fish farm near Campbell River, B.C. in 2018. The First Nations Leadership Council says an attempt by industry to overturn the phasing out of salmon farms in the Discovery Islands in contrary to their inherent Title and Rights. (THE CANADIAN PRESS /Jonathan Hayward photo)
First Nations Leadership Council denounces attempt to overturn salmon farm ban

B.C.’s producers filed for a judicial review of the Discovery Islands decision Jan. 18

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

More than 100 B.C. fishermen, fleet leaders, First Nations leaders and other salmon stakeholders are holding a virtual conference Jan. 21-22 to discuss a broad-range of issues threatening the commercial salmon fishery. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. commercial salmon fishermen discuss cures for an industry on the brink

Two-day virtual conference will produce key reccomendations for DFO

Black Press file photo
Investigation at remote burned-out Vancouver Island cabin reveals human remains

Identity of victim not released, believed to be the owner of an SUV vehicle found parked nearby

Angela Waldick is the new team photographer for the Nanaimo NightOwls. (Nanaimo NightOwls photo)
Half-blind photographer will help new Island baseball team look picture-perfect

Nanaimo NightOwls say legally blind team photographer is making history

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

Most Read