Intense and grueling, The Lions Bay Fire Rescue training program is revered as one of the best across Canada. Here’s a glimpse into the tough yet rewarding sessions of firefighting training.
Across Canada, 90 percent of the communities are protected 24 hours a day by more than 120,000 volunteer fire fighters. These are highly trained, dedicated men and women who are ready to respond to emergencies anytime, day or night. There is no shift change or relief guaranteed. You could be in the midst of a family dinner, attending your child’s soccer game or ready to watch the hockey finals, but once your pager goes off, you need to be ready to sprint out the door. At that moment, you are on autopilot, and all other plans are abandoned, even if you are deep in sleep. We know that every second counts, so clothes are quickly thrown on, and you jump into your car and race down to the fire hall.
Loyd Ondang is the new Unit Chief for the BC Ambulance station here in Lions Bay. Loyd started his career as a Paramedic in 1999 and has taken on a variety of leadership roles most recently as an Instructor for the MobileCAD program.
Prior to working in Vancouver, Loyd began his Paramedic career as a part-time employee working in Chase, Merritt, Lions Bay, and finally Mission. In 2005 he accepted a full-time position and has spent the last three years working out of the Burnaby station. His most recent, non-Paramedic, career was as a Parts Manager for United Rentals in Vancouver. Loyd is a certified Emergency Medical Assistant I/Primary Care Paramedic and has successfully completed the Emergency Management Certificate program offered through the Justice Institute of BC.
A Firefighter’s Best Friend is You
MC Safety Services specializes in identifying challenges faced by modern firefighters and educating residents in how to help minimize the footprint of tragedy. “Across the country, response times are increasing and fire department budgets are being trimmed while funding is diverted to more widely used community infrastructure.
We want to help you help firefighters keep doing what they do best: Save lives, put the fire out and minimize your loss.”
Company founders Ian McLeod and Mike Carter have over 20 years of firefighting experience between them with expertise in residential, commercial, industrial, aviation and marine rescue. Both have served as volunteers throughout their careers and are currently employed as firefighters full time. Ian moved to Lions Bay last year while Mike remains in Alberta.
The Block Watch program was initiated in Seattle in 1974, with participating homes seeing a decrease in residential break-ins of between 48-62%. Surrey was the first municipality in B.C. to start a Block Watch program, which has now spread the length of the Lower Mainland and through several communities across the Province.
Block Watch is a program where neighbours watch out for neighbours by discouraging and preventing crime at the local level. The ultimate success of Block Watch depends largely on a commitment to cooperate between area residents, the RCMP - and more importantly, between residents themselves; it also helps to promote community awareness and community pride.
Oct.27, 2012 Haida Gwaii experienced a 7.7 earthquake and Nov. 7, 2012, the west coast of Vancouver Island experienced a 6.3 earthquake. Both within the last month and how fast we forget and get complacent. But we all know a significant earthquake could occur closer to home…... at any time.
Did you know that 88% of Canadians* think it’s a good idea to keep a disaster safety kit in their home but only 25% actually have one. A disaster survival kit can help get you through the first 3-7 days following a major emergency. *source: Insurance Bureau of Canada
In the new year, Lions Bay’s Emergency Social Service’s volunteers will be offering to assist individuals or groups of people, to develop a personal preparedness plan including emergency kits for you home, car, and pets. Please contact Sally Pollock at
The ESS team is currently building their first aid supplies and would welcome donations of wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, canes, etc. that you may have and no longer need. ESS Pet service volunteers are also building their resources so if you have portable pet carriers, leashes, blankets, towels that you no longer need, please consider donating them to the Lions Bay ESS. contact Sally at
ESS has donated two very interesting books to our Lions Bay Library, ‘Out of Harm’s Way’ and ‘Emergency Animal Rescue Stories’ both by Terri Crisp will warm your heart.
On Friday May 25th, the Lions Bay School, conducted the villages' first emergency release drill. The school falls inside the West Van School District procedures and is currently working with the LB ESS team to better prepare everyone in light of all the recent global earthquake activity.
As a representative of the LB Fire Department, I had a chance to view the demonstration and understand what the school would do if such a disaster were to happen. The Emergency Release Drill is designed as a system (as stress free as possible) for releasing the children to the parents or registered "picker-uppers" after a disaster.
Lions Bay Fire Rescue
With springtime just about upon us, it's the beginning of re-certification season for the fire department.
Usually, this specifically means training of new hires, as well as retraining of all other team members in the "art" of auto extrication. This skill set is essential for a large number of incidents on the highway that we get paged out for. And so, no "new guys" become working team members until they have gone through our thorough in-house certification. All senior members take the two day weekend course every year to demonstrate that they are still firmly grounded, running through diverse training scenarios.
Please mark Sunday May 26th on your calendars now. More updates can be obtained here or through the Art Council website: Link to Lions Bay Art Council website