Highlands Fire Department and paramedics rescued an injured hiker at Lone Tree Hill in 2018. (Black Press Media file photo)

Highlands Fire Department and paramedics rescued an injured hiker at Lone Tree Hill in 2018. (Black Press Media file photo)

Saanich, Central Saanich and Highlands fire departments implement updated mutual aid partnerships

New agreements ensure cross-border cooperation, efficient response in high-risk incidents

Residents in Saanich, Central Saanich and Highlands can expect to see firefighters from other jurisdictions lending a hand in their municipality as newly updated partnerships ensure automatic aid and a response from the nearest fire station have been implemented.

This month, the districts’ fire departments finalized the implementation of updated mutual aid agreements – tools that enable departments to assist one another, share resources and provide support in major incidents across jurisdictional boundaries – and new automatic aid protocols that allow resources from the station closest to an incident to be dispatched.

READ ALSO: Saanich firefighters not prioritized for COVID-19 vaccine despite working on frontlines

The agreements, signed earlier this year, help each department provide faster, better and more cost-effective service through streamlined collaboration. To reimburse departments for their cross-boundary service, a cost recovery process was also put in place. In order to give each department time to implement the required computer-aided dispatch and communications protocols, the Automatic Aid Protocol Agreements weren’t implemented until April.

“Through collaboration, joint training and aligned procedures, these agreements ensure that our approach is modern and provides citizens with the best service possible,” Saanich Fire Chief Michael Burgess said in a statement.

READ ALSO: Victoria, Saanich and Oak Bay fire reach ‘modern’ service agreement

Highlands Fire Chief Dean Ford added that safety is the top priority for every department and by working together to establish agreements, the departments can rely on one another for assistance “when responding to high-risk incidents, such as wildfire,” and trust that additional resources will be available immediately.

Central Saanich Fire Chief Chris Vrabel noted that the agreements will increase operational efficiency and allow each department to be more effective – “resulting in a higher level of fire and life safety for our citizens and firefighters.”

After a long negotiation process, the Saanich Fire Department also updated it’s mutual aid agreement with the Victoria and Oak Bay fire departments in January.


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

District of SaanichfirefightersHighlandsWest Shore

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

Just Posted

James Taylor, a Saanich resident and member of the Curve Lake First Nation, walked all over Greater Victoria on May 5 in honour of Red Dress Day and the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. (Devon Bidal/News staff)
Indigenous man walks Greater Victoria to honour missing and murdered women and girls

James Taylor, of the Curve Lake First Nation, marks Red Dress Day with healing walk, songs

This sign, visible from Highway 17 and suggesting dissatisfaction with the public health measures responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, disappeared from this location after having stood on a private North Saanich property for several days. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sign in North Saanich warning of police state gone

The sign stood for several days on a private property and was visible from Highway 17

Victoria police said Wednesday that they continue to look for Belinda Ann Cameron, who was last seen on May 5, 2005. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police still looking for Belinda Cameron who was last seen 16 years ago

Cameron was reported missing on June 4, 2005, and her case is deemed suspicious

Colwood-based writer Esi Edugyan will speak about the deep research she did before writing <em>Washington Black</em>, her third novel. (Black Press Media file photo)
Colwood author Esi Edugyan giving talk May 6 about her research and writing process

Event is part of Royal Road’s Changemaker series celebrating its 25th anniversary

NEW CUTLINE Payphone use is declining dramatically. (Black Press Files)

One of the last remaining street payphones in Kelowna. (Photo: Mackenzie Britton/Capital News)
Last call approaches for payphones?

Mobile phones diminishing need

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of May 4

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you plan to travel on the Victoria Day long weekend?

It’s the unofficial start to the summer season. A time of barbecues,… Continue reading

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O���Connell photo)
Clash between loggers, activists halts forestry operations over Fairy Creek

Landowners asking for independent investigation into incident

The courthouse in Nanaimo, B.C. (News Bulletin file)
Island man sentenced in Nanaimo after causing a dog unnecessary pain and suffering

Kiefer Tyson Giroux, 26, of Nanoose Bay, given six-month sentence

Following a one-year pause due to the pandemic, the Snowbirds were back in the skies over the Comox Valley Wednesday (May 5) morning. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Video: Snowbirds hold first training session in Comox Valley in more than 2 years

The team will conduct their training from May 4 to 26 in the area

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

Most Read