NEWS RELEASE · 20th September 2010
Terrace Fire Department
Over the last year the City of Terrace Fire Department has received calls to respond to motor vehicle fires outside of our fire protection area. Unfortunately fire departments are not able to respond outside of their boundaries due to associated legal and liability issues.
We do however provide motor vehicle rescue services by land and air to the vast majority of the region under insurance coverage provided by the Province of BC. This coverage is limited to motor vehicle accidents where people are trapped and need to be rescued using specialized training and equipment. If you have a motor vehicle accident anywhere in the northwest you can count on a fire department rescue unit to respond.
Vehicle fires where people are not trapped or at risk are not included in the response criteria provided by the Province of BC. It is stressful for those first responders on scene, such as the RCMP or BC Ambulance Service, to have to deal with a motor vehicle fire knowing there is no fire department responding. Unfortunately this is a reality that many areas in British Columbia face; a large portion of the province has no fire protection.
We advise RCMP (and others) that resources such as Ministry of Forests can be called if the fire spreads to the trees, Ministry of Environment can be called if there is a potential hazardous materials incident as a result of spilled fuel or other dangerous goods, but otherwise there is no fire protection outside of established boundaries.
We are committed to finding a solution to address this specific service gap in our response area.