Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue: We want to hear from you

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue is exploring replacement options for the Ganges Fire Hall. Get involved and speak up about what is important to you.

Sorry, the June 24 online Information Session has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. Stay tuned for updates.

Ask a question about the project, attend an online open house, or sign up for updates.

The current fire hall has served the island well for 60 years but is unable to meet the future needs of the community for fire protection and public safety.

The community-based Fire Rescue Advisory Committee and the Fire Protection District Board of Trustees have reviewed two recent technical reports (2020 Update, Fire Hall No. 1 Structural Assessment Report; 2020 Fire Station Baseline Needs Assessment) that confirm the building cannot be repaired or rebuilt on the existing site. They recommend replacement of the building at a different location.

  • Site is too small
  • Not seismically sound
  • Currently inadequate for safe and efficient operations
  • Cost prohibitive to bring it into compliance with current building code

Facility review and process

In July 2019, the SSI Fire Rescue Advisory Committee, made up of community volunteers, was established. The committee has conducted a review of the status of the fire hall. With input from the community, stakeholders, and partners, is exploring options and identifying possible solutions that would meet the operational and safety needs of the fire department and the community and making recommendations to the Board of Trustees.

About Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue

Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue (SSIFR) provides fire, rescue, emergency medical, hazmat, vehicle crash, fire inspection service, and public education for the Island’s residents, businesses, and visitors from three fire hall sites: Fire Hall (Main) #1 in Ganges, Fire Hall #2 at Fulford Harbour, and Fire Hall #3 (Central) on Vesuvius Bay Road.

Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue is exploring replacement options for the Ganges Fire Hall. Get involved and speak up about what is important to you.

Sorry, the June 24 online Information Session has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. Stay tuned for updates.

Ask a question about the project, attend an online open house, or sign up for updates.

The current fire hall has served the island well for 60 years but is unable to meet the future needs of the community for fire protection and public safety.

The community-based Fire Rescue Advisory Committee and the Fire Protection District Board of Trustees have reviewed two recent technical reports (2020 Update, Fire Hall No. 1 Structural Assessment Report; 2020 Fire Station Baseline Needs Assessment) that confirm the building cannot be repaired or rebuilt on the existing site. They recommend replacement of the building at a different location.

  • Site is too small
  • Not seismically sound
  • Currently inadequate for safe and efficient operations
  • Cost prohibitive to bring it into compliance with current building code

Facility review and process

In July 2019, the SSI Fire Rescue Advisory Committee, made up of community volunteers, was established. The committee has conducted a review of the status of the fire hall. With input from the community, stakeholders, and partners, is exploring options and identifying possible solutions that would meet the operational and safety needs of the fire department and the community and making recommendations to the Board of Trustees.

About Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue

Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue (SSIFR) provides fire, rescue, emergency medical, hazmat, vehicle crash, fire inspection service, and public education for the Island’s residents, businesses, and visitors from three fire hall sites: Fire Hall (Main) #1 in Ganges, Fire Hall #2 at Fulford Harbour, and Fire Hall #3 (Central) on Vesuvius Bay Road.

Have a question about the project? Ask it here! A response will be posted within 3 business days. Questions from the community asked in emails, phone calls, or in-person are also answered here.

Ask a question

Didn't receive confirmation?
Seems like you are already registered, please provide the password. Forgot your password? Create a new one now.
  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    What will it cost and how will it be paid for?

    Elizabeth asked 20 days ago

    Cost is an important consideration for the Advisory Committee members, who are also Island residents. The committee is currently working through a space planning process, which is key to determining fire hall size and ultimately construction cost. This also includes looking for opportunities to share the space – and the cost – with other related agencies. 

    If the project proceeds to a referendum, Salt Spring Island property owners will be provided with the best-known cost estimates of construction, the amount that needs to be borrowed, and how that could impact ratepayers through property taxes.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    What is the current size of the Fire Hall? How much more space do you need ? Our population growth is very limited due to water supply. Why then would we need a building with room to expand? Why can't an extension with a second floor for offices be added at Central Fire hall 2? Is there water supply already at Central? I noticed Tuesday night is training at Central but is that not expensive real estate once a week? Can training be done at Fulford Hall where land is cheaper?

    peter parker asked 24 days ago

    Thank you for all your great questions. First, to address your questions on size, site, and future needs: 

    The Ganges Fire Hall was built in 1960 and was added to in 1973. It currently has approximately 5300 square feet of offices, storage, and the apparatus bay space to accommodate the fire rescue vehicles. Any new building will need to meet all the regulatory, legislative, identified industry standards and operational requirements to meet the needs of our firefighters and our community, and for fire protection and public safety. Fire halls needs to adequately accommodate the fire vehicles, store equipment and gear – including items such as contaminated turn-out gear and wet hoses, provide space for training, and office space for fire department and Fire Protection District administration staff. 

    Two recent reports do not recommend rebuilding or renovating the existing hall. The reports confirm that it would not be cost effective or practical to rebuild or renovate the current hall, including an extension such as a second floor. The existing building is not seismically sound, has numerous deficiencies such as electrical problems, termites, and inadequately sized apparatus bays, and the site footprint is too small to expand. 

    The Advisory Committee will be reviewing and assessing options for space requirements and we will be sharing this information here on our website and project updates.

    The ability to expand in the future is a consideration when planning a building that may need to last for another 50 plus years. While Salt Spring Island’s population may be restricted by water supply, it is important to note that the fire rescue service provides fire suppression, emergency preparedness, emergency medical services, fire prevention and public education to the Island’s 10,640 residents, 600 businesses and commercial operations, the surrounding marine areas, and the thousands of visitors that expand Salt Spring’s size each summer. As an island, Salt Spring’s fire rescue service needs to be self-sufficient, as it is not a simple matter to call in mutual aid from neighbouring municipalities.

    Regarding training space, we are very fortunate to have 46 paid on-call and eight career firefighters on our roster. Training is an essential part of a firefighter’s job, and regular training sessions underscore teamwork, repetition, and knowledge. We do train at the satellite halls, as well as the main fire hall in Ganges. 

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Please make it easier to register for the Open House. I clicked on the open house link above but was not given the opportunity to register.

    Maxine Leichter asked 27 days ago

    The Zoom link for the webinar has been added to the event information. You can preregister anytime and make sure your computer is set up and ready. Alternatively, you can also watch the session on Facebook live, or view the recorded session at any time after.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    How are the current fire halls staffed? Is it all volunteer?

    Sylvia Spring asked about 1 month ago

    We consider ourselves to be extremely fortunate to have a roster of 46 paid on-call community members and eight career fire professionals ready to respond. Two of the three halls (Vesuvius and Fulford) are not staffed. Our main Ganges Fire Hall is staffed by our career fire professionals 7 days a week, and our Fire Protection District Administration team 5 days a week. For the latest roster numbers, as well as a summary of calls, training, and community work, please check out our Fire Chief's monthly reports.


  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    How can I have a say?

    about 1 month ago

    Solutions for fire protection and public safety facilities on Salt Spring Island is led with community engagement and input, starting with the formation of the volunteer-based Fire Rescue Advisory Committee.

    Community input is important in creating workable solutions for fire protection and public safety. Opportunities for Islanders to review background materials and reports and provide feedback are ongoing. 

    Learn more, ask a question, sign up for updates, and watch for events and opportunities for feedback.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Why aren’t we rebuilding on the current site?

    about 1 month ago

    Two recent reports (2020 Update, Fire Fall No. 1 Structural Assessment Report; 2020 Fire Station Baseline Needs Assessment) recommend building a new fire hall on a different site. Numerous problems with the building including seismic, structural, roof leaks, and size, and an undersized site with no foundation support or pilings, would be expensive to address. A 2020 report by Herold Engineering suggests it would cost between $1.5 to $2.5 million just to address the seismic issues, without any building repairs or renovations. The Fire District currently owns property at 455 Lower Ganges, thanks to a generous donation in 2013, that also meets criteria for a main fire hall and is being considered as a preferred location. Read more about the current building and site, and future fire hall location.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    How much will this cost me?

    about 1 month ago

    Cost is an important consideration for the Advisory Committee members and the Board of Trustees, who are also Island residents. Identifying potential costs is a key part of the process and one of the many criteria they will consider as they evaluate options. 

    The District is also Investigating potential partners and building cost-share arrangements. 

    If the project proceeds to a referendum, Salt Spring Island property owners will be provided with the best-known cost estimates of construction, the amount that needs to be borrowed, and how that could impact residential and commercial rate payers through property taxes.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    What will happen to the current fire hall if it is rebuilt elsewhere?

    about 1 month ago

    If a new fire hall is built elsewhere, deciding what will happen with the historic Ganges Fire Hall is an important consideration for both the District and the community. To start the process, the Board of Trustees is setting up a committee to investigate options for the site at 105 Lower Ganges Road. Stay tuned for opportunities to speak up on ideas and options for future uses of the site by signing up for updates.