Township Fire Chief Stephen Gamble told council the fire department can maintain fully-staffed crews only if no one gets sick.

Langley Township fire dept. at full strength — except for holidays or illness

Aldergrove fire hall 3 will be operating with three-man crews for part of August.

Langley Township fire crews can run at full strength only if no one gets sick, Township Fire Chief Stephen Gamble told council Monday.

Whenever two Township firefighters go on vacation and one other becomes ill, crews drop below the industry standard minimum of four, Gamble said.

“We can have four guys on a truck if no one gets sick,” Gamble said.

The chief was providing a more detailed analysis of numbers showing every one of the four Langley Township fire halls with full-time firefighters will be under the minimum at different times this year.

The worst situation is in Aldergrove Fire Hall No. 3.

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

Gamble said that is because two of the firefighters in the hall are off on long term disability, and there aren’t enough available firefighters to shuffle around to cover for them all the time.

Falling below the minimum does not mean increased risk to the firefighters, but it can mean a longer wait before firefighters can enter a burning building because a three-man crew is too small to meet a “two in, two out” safety rule that forbids them from going in alone.

Gamble said in an emergency, safety rules allow firefighters to go inside even if they don’t have a full crew, but only briefly.

“We can make an entry, but we have to be out of the building in 10 minutes,” Gamble said.

“And that’s not a lot of time.”

He said he could use a “few more bodies” on each shift to maintain crew levels.

The fire chief added the crewing problem will become “slightly worse” if no additional firefighters are hired, because people with increased seniority will become entitled to longer holidays.

Gamble said he is a “little worried” about what will happen with sick leaves this year.

Just Posted

Langley students help out at clinic during National Blood Donors Week

Credo Christian students helped celebrated National Blood Donors Week by helping at a blood clinic

Langley’s oldest and last strip bar shuts its doors

The Alder Inn, in operation since 1957, has reportedly been purchased

Update: Show of support after pride flag was taken down by Township of Langley

Township statement said flag was removed due to “confusion” about whether it was on private property

No more TransLink buses for Langley until at least September

Route changes and increases start soon, but Langley gets no increases this summer

Kwantlen-language street signs proposed for Fort Langley

Halkomelem language could be added to local signage

PHOTOS: Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Victoria mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of coroners inquest into overdose death

Resulting recommendations could change handling of youth records amidst the overdose crisis

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Dinosaur statues from defunct Dinotown theme park stolen in Chilliwack

The dinosaur figures once graced the theme park but were destined for Chilliwack fundraiser

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to speak in Surrey

He’s keynote speaker at Surrey Environment and Business Awards luncheon by Surrey Board of Trade Sept. 17

Otters devour 150 trout at Kootenay hatchery

The hatchery has lost close to 150 fish in the past several months

Most Read