Langley Township firefighters were at the scene of a fatal vehicle crash on Fraser Highway in March. When called to a structure fire

Firefighters were forced to wait at 2011 house fire

At least four firefighters must be on the scene before crews can go into burning building.

Langley Township firefighters had to delay entering a burning house in 2011 because of short-staffing, a report to council has disclosed.

The March 20 memo from fire chief Stephen Gamble, written in response to council questions, shows for 42 per cent of the time over three years (2011, 2012 and 2013) the first fire crews on the scene of residential structure fires in the Township have been three-person crews, below the minimum standard of four.

Most of them, however, were fires which did not require an “offensive attack” where firefighters may enter a burning building.

Only once over the three years were firefighters forced to delay entry until more crews could arrive to help, and then the wait time was “3.02” minutes, the Gamble report states.

The incident took place in September of 2011 when fire caused extensive damage to a heritage house on Old Yale Road near the 216 Street roundabout in historic Murrayville.

The blaze, reported in The Times, was considered suspicious.

It drew half a dozen emergency vehicles including pumper trucks, a fire department command vehicle and an ambulance.

No one was injured and the Gamble report notes there were “no occupants found” inside the burning building.

The heritage house has since been restored.

WorkSafe B.C. regulations require a minimum of four firefighters before going into a burning structure, two to enter the building and two to remain outside.

A previous Jan. 15 report to Township council from Gamble estimated every one of the four halls with full-time firefighters in Langley will fail to meet the minimum four-person crew requirement at different times this year, but the Aldergrove hall at 26316 30A Avenue will be under the four-person crew most often.

From Aug. 4 until Aug. 19, every one of the four shifts in Aldergrove will be operating with three-person crews.

In July, one of the four shifts will run with three people for the entire month.

A follow-up report to council said that was because two of the firefighters in the Aldergrove hall are off on long-term disability, and there aren’t enough available firefighters to cover for them all the time.

The department has an average of 18 firefighters working per shift when the generally accepted minimum is 20.

As a result, about 20 per cent of the time, Langley fire trucks are operating with three- instead of four-person crews, the fire department estimates.

The latest Gamble report says the Township should work t.oward having four-person crews at all full-time fire halls in the Township for “overall efficiency, firefighter safety, as well as meeting industry standards …”

 

Just Posted

Vancouver Giants blank Rockets

Langley-based G-men take over top spot in the west

Kodiaks begin best-of-seven series strong

The Kodiaks opened their quarter-final playoff series by defeating the Delta Ice Hawks on home ice.

Heritage proposal for Aldergrove fire hall at a ‘standstill’

The Alder Grove Heritage Society faces a delay in knowing the fate of the fire hall due to tenants slated to live in the building until 2020.

VIDEO: Langley hosting high-flying fun at annual gymnastics tournament

Action runs Friday through Sunday at the Langley Events Centre fieldhouse.

Langley Secondary students rehearse upcoming musical comedy

The Langley Secondary Musical Theatre Company presents Guys and Dolls on Feb. 22.

VIDEO: Langley hosting high-flying fun at annual gymnastics tournament

Action runs Friday through Sunday at the Langley Events Centre fieldhouse.

PHOTOS: Day 1 of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer

Games kicked off in Red Deer this week

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Stabbing at Lower Mainland banquet hall sends man to hospital

RCMP says victim has ‘non-life threatening’ injuries, incident still under investigation

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Most Read