Archive for Author Dimitri Tzotzos

About the Author: Dimitri Tzotzos
Dimitri Tzotzos is a Captain and First Responder Instructor with the GVFD.

GFPID Trustee Meeting Minutes – Jan 22, 2020

A General Meeting of the Gabriola Fire Protection District was held January 22, 2020 at the No. 1 Fire Hall with seven Trustees in attendance. The meeting was called to order at 4:45 p.m. by Chairman Sandra Rudischer.
Chairman Rudischer asked for  errors or omissions from  the minutes of December 4, 2019 General Meeting, none forthcoming, moved by Penelope Bahr that the minutes be accepted as presented, seconded by Diana Moher, carried.
The Chief noted that there will be an Open House on January 22, from 10:00 – 3:00 for Emergency Preparedness.   Recruitment for the department as well as other services, such as ESS, PALS… will be sought.
We have set up some Social Media accounts, Twitter, Instagram, as well as Facebook, they will all be linked to our webpage.
On Tuesday, January 22, the department passed the annual Commercial FUS testing need to upgrade our records.
At our last Officer’s Meeting we went over OFC self audit.
Updated the Burning Bylaw to include the new regulations.
Fire Smarting – Canso area will be the first neighbourhood to receive the Red Bin for clean up.
We have appointed two new Officers, Elisha Bandel No 1 Hall and Dave Chorneyko No. 2.
Q.  Do you need a policy for the media accounts?  We have an O.G. regarding talking to the media.
TRAINING OFFICER’S REPORT: Reported by Jethro Baker
Training topics for January are:
F.R.  bleeding/shock
Pre-incident planning at the Gabriola Garden Homes
Superior Tanker Shuttle Service accreditation
Low angle ice/water rescue
In the upcoming months we will:
Co-ordinate monthly training nights
Evaluate long term training needs
Continue reviewing our OFC Playbook compliance
I have completed our 2020 training schedule for our frontline recruits and auxiliaries.  The list of skills we need to be proficient in is massive.  The training is co-ordinated by myself and the Chief.  The Officers play a large role in delivering the weekly training.  These Officers take additional training to be able to manage fire scenes, assist and lead training sessions.  We have three groups of  firefighters to train including frontline, new recruits, and auxiliary firefighters, it takes a team to provide training our almost 40 FF’s.
The recent plan crash showed us that our work in the area of critical incident stress is necessary and has helped our members.  The department holds mental health at a highest level of importance.  Strategies we have learned at our yearly critical incident stress workshop were used on scene and in the days following.
I look forward to working with our firefighters to provide a professional level of response to the people of Gabriola for 2020.
Bylaw 95 – Burning
The new rules from the Provincial Government have been incorporated into the Bylaw.
Changed 1m X 1m to .5 X .5g
Need to develop Community Wildfire Reduction plan.
An Officer will have to inspect a burn site before a permit is issued.
Take out the word oral permission?
Define campfire rules better.
Put the permit on the website.
John Moeller moved that the topic be tabled until the next meeting, seconded by Mark Noyon, carried.
The Chair brought up the UBCM grant application, explaining that the last thing that is needed is that the Trustees show that they are in agreement to applying for this grant as well as providing overall administration until the project is complete.
Moved by Paul Giffin that the Trustees support this application.  Seconded by Penelope Bahr, carried.
Trustee’s Website
A discussion ensued on the topic:
Link Trustee website with GVFD.
Agenda and meeting information posted here instead of GVFD site.
To be decided, contributors, authors, or editors.
How many pages need to be created?
Email access for Trustees only.  – Discussion on why bypass the Corporate Officer?  It was decided that the emails would go to a separate email, rather than the GVFD one.
Penelope Bahr thank Dimitri Tzotzos for all his help and support.
Committee will report on progress at the next meeting.
OFC Self Audit:
There were six areas the Officer’s identified:
As of January 9, 2020 the following steps have been taken to address these areas:
        A policy has been included into the Operational Guidelines that addresses our service level and training requirements as outlined by the PlayBook
Heath and Safety committee has been formed and has met and developed an appropriate fitness test designed for our frontline firefighters.  This  will take place for all frontline firefighters in the spring of 2020.  In addition preparatory training has been implemented on a weekly basis in order to prepare frontline firefighters for this test.
Currently we are in talks with Nanaimo Fire Communications and developing an agreement to use their reporting software with no extra cost to the GVFD.
In addition to these there are three more areas that will need to be addressed on a monthly basis at our Officers Meetings:
1.    Near miss reporting.
2.    Continual training in all existing and updated Operational Guidelines.
3.    Organization chart of the current chain of command.
These areas are already being addressed by:
∙    Monthly Officers Meetings now include a section for near miss reporting and review of such.
∙    In addition to the training schedule that the Officers create there will be a line item to include relative and specific Operation Guidelines into each training night.
∙    An adjustable organizational chart of the Chain of Command is being created by the Officers and a local sign maker. This will be placed at the front entrance to the Fire Hall 1
Election Procedures:
Penelope Bahr requested that a committee be formed to improve election procedures.
Only two voting booths.
Extend time for voting.
Have just recently updated the procedures, haven’t hear any complaints since implementing it.
Independent Returning Officer.
Can’t accommodate everyone.
No problem with increasing the amount of tables.
Q.  What Trustees are up for re-election?  Sean Lewis, John Moeller, Diana Moher.
Trustee’s dinner:
Would like to have the dinner before the next AGM, please email Paula best dates for you before mid April.
∙    Fitness testing just for frontline FF’s?  Yes.
∙    FUS – need to do each year?  Yes, for the paperwork.
∙    AGM elections, can you extend the closing period for voting.
∙    Can an email be sent out to people letting them know the date and agenda of meetings?
Moved by Mark Noyon that the meeting be adjourned, seconded by Paul Giffin, carried.  Meeting went in-camera.

FireSmart Community Champion Course – June 7th

We will be facilitating a FireSmart Community Champion Course from 9am-1pm on Sunday, June 7th.  This course will be taught via the Zoom online platform.

This course is meant for people who are willing to become leaders in their neighbourhoods, and will outline how they can be involved in the FireSmart Community Recognition Program, and help reduce the risk of a wildfire devastating their neighbourhood.

Please visit FireSmart BC for lots of great information.

Please contact our office to register.

Open Burning Ban in Effect

Important  announcement regarding open burning on the island.  Under the directive of the RDN, the Gabriola Volunteer Fire Department has now implemented a complete ban on all open burning. This is due to the current COVID-19 health emergency and air quality concerns for those that may be affected. This ban is effective immediately and you will see all the “No Fire” signs up around the island by the end of the day.

Exemptions from the open burning ban are cooking fires and wood stoves to heat your homes. We thank you for your continued support and compliance during these difficult times. We will get through this, together.

Fire Hall Office closed to public

Effective immediately, the office at the Albert Reed Memorial Fire Hall will be closed to the public.

The fire hall and office will be operating as usual, but the doors will be closed to public in order to protect our members and community.

You can still reach us by phone (250-247-9677) or email (

If you want to purchase a fire extinguisher, we can deliver it to you.

We will continue to conduct on-site inspections prior to burn permits being issued.

FireSmart Community Champion Workshop

Are you keen to help yourself and your neighbours by moving towards being a recognized FireSmart community?

We will be hosting a Community Champion Workshop on Sunday, March 15, 2020.  The course will take place from 9am-1pm, at the Albert Reed Memorial Fire Hall on Church Street.

Space is limited, so if you are interested, reserve your spot ASAP by calling the GVFD fire hall, at (250)247-9677.

This workshop is geared towards those people who are willing to step forward and be a leader in their neighbourhood.  Please see the PIP CCW Recruit Flyer for more information.

Meeting Minutes (DRAFT)- December 4, 2019

A General Meeting of the Gabriola Fire Protection District was held December 4,  2019 at the No. 1 Fire Hall with five Trustees in attendance, absent was Paul Giffin and John Moeller.
The meeting was called to order at 4:55 p.m. by Chairman Sandra Rudischer
October 23, 2019 minutes, errors or omissions?   Moved by Diana Moher that the minutes be accepted as presented, seconded by Penelope Bahr, carried.
The Chair welcomed the newly appointed Fire Chief, Will Sprogis.
FIRE CHIEF REPORT: (As per written report)
TRAINING OFFICER REPORT: Presented by Captain/T.O. Jethro Baker
Training topics for the month of December:
∙    Ambulance orientation/practising with EHS stair chair
∙    Pre-fire planning
∙    Fire dynamics
∙    Fire underwriters survey superior tanker shuttle practice
In the New Year:
∙    I am currently working on the training schedule for next yer.
∙    Reviewing our work safe B.C.  OHS part 31 – compliance
∙    Reviewing our OFC playbook compliance
∙    Planning needed courses determined by the previous regulations
Thank you for the hard work and dedication of all of our firefighters over the last year and years past.  This past year our members put in well over 3000 person hours into training and responding to calls.  I thank them for their dedication to the department.  Thank you to the families of the firefighters for making this possible.  When our firefighters respond to calls, and attend training it is with great sacrifice to themselves and their family’s livelihood.
∙    Morale is good.
∙    Christmas party on December 7, 2019, at 6:00 p.m.
Communications Committee
Sean Lewis noted that the Communication Committee had met and discussed the website for the Trustees, and that they will seek advise from the Webmaster of the GVFD site.
Penelope Bahr moved that the GFPID Board of Trustees direct the Communications Committee to work with the webmaster of the GVFD to increase the online presence and accessibility of the GFPID on the existing website.  And, that the new design be presented to the Board for approval at a regular General meeting.  Seconded by Sean Lewis, carried.
OFC Audit
The self Audit from the OFC was discussed with the following points being brought up:
∙    Suggest Trustees read the Playbook to get a better understanding of the Audit.
∙    The GVFD has struck a Health and Safety Committee.
∙    If anything was extraordinary it would be flagged and brought to the Board’s attention.
∙    The Officer’s will discuss at their monthly meeting and bring any concerns to the Board.
∙    Copies available for the Trustees.
Moved by Mark Noyon that the meeting be adjourned, seconded by Penelope Bahr, carried.  Meeting adjourned at 5:10 p.m.  and went in-camera.

Meeting Agenda – 4:45pm, Wednesday, January 15, 2020

AGENDA – JANUARY 15, 2020  – 4:45  P.M. NO. 1 HALL
∙    December 4, 2019
∙    Trustee website
∙    Review of Audit
∙    Election procedures

Trustee Meeting Minutes – October 23, 2019

October 23, 2019 – Trustee Meeting Minutes

A General Meeting of the Gabriola Fire Protection District was held October 23,  2019 at the No. 1 Fire Hall with six Trustees in attendance, absent was Sandra Rudischer.
The meeting was called to order at 4:50 p.m. by  acting Chairman Mark Noyon.
September 4, 2019 minutes, errors or omissions?   Moved by Sean Lewis that the minutes be accepted as presented, seconded by Diana Moher, carried.
September 25 2019 minutes, errors or omissions?   John Moeller noted that he had been at the meeting and it was Mark Noyon who was not.  Penelope Bahr said that she had not been informed there would be a meeting after the election.   Paula Mallinson agreed this was correct, stating that she looked for  Penelope shortly after she had been elected as a Trustee, to inform her of the meeting,  but she  had left the building.  Moved by John Moeller  that the minutes be accepted as amended, seconded by Paul Giffin, carried.
The Chief noted that he had been on holidays, so there was no written report.  He noted that Dimitri Tzotzos had written a summary of the new burning bylaws and that they will be in the phone book and the GVFFA website, and stated that at some point the Trustees would have to amend the Burning Bylaw.
∙    Hosted a Hazmat course at the Hall with Mudge, Cedar and Cranberry Firefighters attending, it was a good course and probably saved the department thousands of dollars.
∙    Practiced with HAM on Gabriola and in Nanaimo using the emergency radio set up in the bus.  It was a simulation of last years major wind storm.
Sean Lewis asked to what level was the Hazmat course.   The T.O. stated to the basic level, which allows the firefighters to get their NFPA 1001 Level 2 certification.
∙    Morale is great, recruits are excited about training.
∙    Fireworks will be held on October 26.
∙    How many new recruits?  6 full frontline with 15 auxiliary.
∙    How many women?  6 – 7 with two on the waiting list.
The Provincial Levy, Bylaw 94
∙    Changes to the GFPID 2020 Budget, a 2.1% increase,  were explained.
∙    It was noted that one of the Truck Bylaws had been paid off in 2019, so the increase should not make any impact on homeowners taxes.
Moved by Diana Moher that bylaw 94 be accepted, seconded by Paul Giffin, carried.
Moved by Penelope Bahr that bylaw 94 be accepted, seconded by John Moeller, carried.
Moved by Diana Moher that bylaw 94 be accepted, seconded by Paul Giffin, carried.
Old Hall 1 roof:
∙    We are currently waiting for an Engineer, who is coming over to the Island on another matter, to inspect the roof, so we can save some money.  Will monitor the roof over the winter.
Hydrant Easement:
∙    Waiting for an Engineer’s report.
∙    Insurance company coming back with prices.
Trustee’s website:
∙    At this point the website is just for receiving applications and correspondence, Paul Champion would like the Trustees to take it over.
∙    Communication Committee should take a look at it and get back to the Board.
∙    Get the invoice from Paul Champion and pay for it.
Moved by John Moeller and the meeting be adjourned, seconded by Paul Giffin, carried.
Questions from the floor:
∙    Liz Ciocea stated that she had attended the Fire Smart course put on by Dimitri Tzotzos and Will Sprogis, and had enjoyed it and was hoping there would be more to come.  Will noted there will be another course in January.
∙    Liz Ciocea also thanked Duty Officer, Will Sprogis for coming over and checking out the transformer that had blown at the end of her street, and phoning her to let her know it was safe.
∙    Toby Elliot asked if there was any thought about reviewing the communications with the community during a power outage?
    ∙    It was noted that the RDN is the contact agency.
    ∙    Information on the website.
    ∙    If signed up with the RDN should get a text or a phone call during an emergency.
    ∙    ESS, run by Shirley Nicolson is the contact on the Island.
    ∙    The bulletin board at the Village has a lot of information on it.
    ∙    Information in the phone book.
    ∙    This is not the Fire Department’s mandate, they help where they can.
∙    Kyle Clifford read a letter of concern he had regarding the hiring of the Fire Chief.
Asked if the survey done a few years ago had been viewed by the Board?
    The Board took his letter to be discussed in-camera.
At this point the Chairman thanked the audience for coming out and their input, and the Board went in-camera.

Trustee Meeting Agenda – October 23, 2019

October 23, 2019 – Trustee General Meeting

AGENDA – October 23,  2019  – 4:45  P.M. NO. 1 HALL
∙    September 4, 2019
∙    2020 Provincial levy
∙    Old Hall 1 roof
∙    Hydrant – easement insurance
∙    Trustee website

Trustee Meeting Minutes – September 4, 2019

September 4, 2019 – Trustee Meeting Minutes

A General Meeting of the Gabriola Fire Protection District was held September 4,  2019 at the No. 1 Fire Hall with four Trustees in attendance, absent was Mark Noyon.
The meeting was called to order at 4:50 p.m. by Acting Chair Sandra Rudischer.
∙    Gertie
FIRE CHIEF REPORT: (As per written report)
Will Sprogis gave a brief report noting the following:
∙    Recruits half way through their training
∙    Our firefighters are working hard
∙    Started using Acting Officers to pick up the slack during practices, doing 3 different groups on training night
∙    Did a cross training with BCAS, RCMP, SAR, and HAM – who played dispatch
∙    HAM set up our emergency truck to use in case the repeater is down
∙    Will Sprogis and Dimitri Tzotzos held a Fire Safe course with 10 people attending, ESS came out to help.  Looking forward to moving forward with this training
∙    Association is starting preparations for Halloween night and the fireworks.
The GFPID received a letter from Gertie and they would like to get together with the Trustees to discuss  housing the trucks in the old Hall.
∙    This is something that we can look into if we decide to bring the old Hall up to date with new roof, etc., but will have to look into insurance implications also.
Long Range Plan:
Sean Lewis asked how the digitizing of the Long Range Plan was progressing?  John Moeller noted that it was almost complete but that some of the charts and maps are picking up properly.
Once completed it can be updated and put on the Website for public information.
Old Hall 1:
The Fire Chief noted that while he was away he had asked Will Sprogis to look into the costs of different types of roofing.
Will Sprogis stated that the main problem is because of the weight of the gravel and tower on the roof it will need to be shimmed up and ply wood put down, basically the estimates are between 45,000 – $50,000, with one company offering a 30 year warranty.
He had also looked into trusses as suggested by Sean Lewis, but the company said because of the roof span they would be too long for the ferry, and the cost would be almost double.
∙    Nice thing about trusses you get a 50 year warranty, should be a way to get them over.
∙    No sense in paying double for trusses, especially with a 30 year warranty the other way.
∙    Is the Hall used?  Yes, we do auto X, ladder training, S&R… during the winter months this is great, keeps the equipment and Ffs dry.
∙    Other than an earthquake the building is pretty solid.
∙    Roof was fixed last year, but this year carpenter ants are attacking it, might last another year at the most.
∙    If we don’t do something with it, it will become a liability.
∙    Some of the roofers said they would babysit the roof until they could do the job.
∙    Do we need to get an Engineer report on it?  We have had two done in the past when considering a new Hall, will pull them out.
∙    Suggest torch on with 30 year warranty.
∙    Gertie could pay some rent for using the facility, they were also asking about office space – could use the kitchen in the Bay.
∙    Is the building being heated right now?  No.
∙    What insurance does the building have now?  Demolish.
∙    Cost to take down the building could be over $60,000.
∙    Tank at the Hall now for drafting practices.
∙    Back up generator still operational in Hall.
∙    Should meet with Gertie to discuss, trial basis.
∙    Should look into insurance costs, liability, and Engineering report.
Rook’s Dam:
John Moeller noted that the Ministry of Transportation required that there be two connecting public roads before anything could be done with the Dam.  Bob Rooks had Engineer plans drawn up and has shorn everything up over and above specification, they should have no problem getting approval.
The Dam is part of common property and Bob is suggestion a 3 way split on water rights, which would make Bob, myself, and the Fire Department responsible for the insurance, and maintenance.  The only thing that would cause concern is an earth quake, and even then they way it is constructed and protected wouldn’t cause a tidal wave.
∙    Sandra Rudischer said that Bob Rook’s would like a letter of intent from the Improvement District.
∙    Really do need this hydrant the next closest one is at Camp Miriam.
∙    Brian Henning will be writing the letter of intent.
∙    Bob Rooks would like to have the Fire Department on as an emergency contact, right now is is Bob and John Moeller.
∙    The Fire Chief recommend going for it saying maintenance should be almost nothing.
∙    Going to get a legal easement and water rights.
∙    Immediate business get the Letter of Intent and see what’s binding.
At this point there were a few questions from the public:
∙    Where does this water come from?  Surface water.
∙    Could you expropriate?
∙    Rob Brockley introduced himself as the President of GALT and asked if the GFPID were accepting part of the liability would they be open to some public access on this property?
∙    Could GALT not become a 4th party?  No – no insurance liability.
∙    Maybe GALT could make the pitch to Rooks?
∙    First thing to do is check into cost of insurance (John Moeller volunteered to do this.)
∙    If GALT would like to write their request to the GFPID we would be more than willing to speak to Rooks about it.
∙    Strata Road open to Public but no cars, gated.
Moved by Sean Lewis that the meeting be adjourned, seconded by John Moeller, carried.
Meeting adjourned at 5:51 p.m.

Trustee Meeting Agenda – September 4, 2019

September 4, 2019 – Trustee Meeting Agenda

AGENDA – SEPTEMBER 4,  2019  – 4:45  P.M. NO. 1 HALL
∙    August 7, 2019
∙    Gertie
FIRE CHIEF REPORT: (As per written report)
∙    Old Hall 1 roof
∙    Hydrant – easement

Trustee Meeting Minutes – August 7, 2019

August 7, 2019 – Trustee Meeting Minutes

A General Meeting of the Gabriola Fire Protection District was held August 7,  2019 at the No. 1 Fire Hall with four Trustees in attendance, absent was John Moeller.
The meeting was called to order at 4:50 p.m. by Acting Chair Sandra Rudischer.
The Chair stated that she would like to reaffirm that  her position as Chair stands until the September 25, 2019 re-election, as she was 1) nominated by a  Trustee who had to step down due to the Court challenge, and 2) when nominated she had hoped there could be a roaming Chairman, but as Victoria doesn’t allow that, she will be Acting until the election.
Moved by Mark Noyon that Sandra Rudischer be Chairman until the September 25, 2019 election, seconded by Sean Lewis, carried.
The Chair asked for  errors or omissions from  the minutes of June 5, 2019 General Meeting.  Mark Noyon noted that the adjournment time was incorrect.  Moved by Mark Noyon that the minutes be accepted with the time amendment, seconded by Diana Moher, carried.
The Chair thanked Penelope J. Bahr for her letter and stated there were some really good points.   The Chair  noted that at this point the Trustee Website had been set up just for the process of receiving  Fire Chief applications, but once the process has been completed we will look at implementing some of the suggestions.
FIRE CHIEF REPORT: (As per written report)
 Association made some amendments to their rules for voting members in.
Hydrant easement:
∙    Insurance for the hydrant easement shouldn’t be too bad
∙    600 gpm of unlimited water, really don’t want to lose this water source
∙    This project needs to go ahead, the Fire Chief will find out when they need the Trustees decision by.
∙    The Chair noted that John Moeller wasn’t here tonight and seeing that he is also on this easement he would have information to give.
∙    It was agreed to read the paper work on this topic and call a special meeting, if necessary, to expedite this matter.
OFC Audit:
∙    The Fire Chief has finished his portion of the audit, just waiting for the Officers and some of the Firefighters to return theirs and he will give it to the Trustee
∙    Sean Lewis noted this audit was a win/win situation and was very pleased that the Chief was doing it in-house.  The Chief noted it is a pretty straight forward document.  Sean Lewis said it gives you a measuring stick and that he was very pleased it was being used, well done.
A discussion on the pros and cons of getting the old Hall a new torch on roof:
∙    They always leak, need them fixed every few years.
∙    Concerns of the cost of heating and getting it up to standards.
∙    Still use the building for training purposes.
∙    In the long term shingles might be a cheaper way to go, and then could do water collection.
∙    When was the last time it was done?  1986.
A discussion around the hydrant easement:
∙    Could this be a grandfather clause?
∙    Do we use Clydes?  No, it’s electric so doesn’t work in a outage and Clyde wanted too much money for something we barely used.
∙    If the District agrees to the easement are they liable too?  Yes.
∙    The GFPID has agreements on all the other water sources and hydrants.
Moved by Mark Noyon that the meeting be adjourned, seconded by Diana Moher, carried.
Meeting adjourned at 5:17
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