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Britannia Beach Volunteer Fire Department achieves ‘interior attack’ designation

Transition means firefighters can now enter burning structures and attack fires from inside building
The Britannia Beach Volunteer Fire Department gathers for the annual service awards and recognition event on Saturday, May 27.

You’ve got to be in it to win it, and the Britannia Beach Volunteer Fire Department (BBVFD) knows that full well.

The department just transitioned from an “exterior attack” unit to an “interior attack” unit, meaning firefighters now have authorization to enter burning structures, conduct rescues, and attack a blaze from within buildings.

“Our communities are fortunate to be so well-served by such dedicated people in these important roles,” said Tony Rainbow, Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) Electoral Area D director, in a release. “Congratulations to the Britannia Beach Volunteer Fire Department on this impressive achievement, and thank you for your ongoing commitment and service.”

SLRD Regional Fire Chief Rob Van Doorn in the release said the designation was the result of “a great deal of hard work and dedication, and is representative of the commitment of the volunteer firefighters in this community.” He went on to commend BBVFD members for “reaching this new height and for their dedication to serving their community.”

The department, under the leadership of Chief Rob Nicholls, has sought to enhance its team and capabilities in recent years, with deputy chiefs Richard Kagerer and Martyn Jackson playing “a vital role in overseeing the training and operations that enabled the department’s successful growth and transition,” the release continued.

The change in service levels is in response to a growing population and the continued construction of multi-family homes and commercial buildings in the area. With the new designation, the department is set up to staff the area’s second fire hall, planned for Furry Creek.

The BBVFD also plans to add a new aerial fire apparatus, called a “Quint,” which will replace the current unit at the end of its service life.

First established in 1904, the department today counts nearly 40 volunteer firefighters and has responded to a growing number of emergency calls in recent years.  

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