Saturna Island Fire Protection Society

For those who are long-time residents of Saturna, the following will be familiar. However, the past few years have seen many new full- and part-time residents who may be wondering about fire and rescue services on the island.

Saturna Island Fire Protection Society (SIFPS) was incorporated in January 1994 as an independent society. The volunteer Board of Directors is elected by the membership at the Annual General Meeting, usually held in June. All resident and non-resident property owners are eligible to be members. The Board of Directors oversees Saturna Island Volunteer Fire Department and Saturna Island Rescue, our medical first responders.

There are two emergency buildings: one across from the General Store and one at East Point. Costs associated with the upkeep and managing of the buildings is paid for by Saturna property taxes.

Fire protection is provided by 20 volunteer fire fighters and a fleet of seven fire service vehicles. The department is rated for exterior attack only, which means they will battle any structural fire from the outside. They also have specialized training for wildfires and a dedicated rope rescue team. Similar to other jurisdictions, all costs associated with providing fire protection are paid for by local property taxes.

If there is a medical emergency, our Saturna Island Rescue (SIR) volunteers will respond. There are currently 9 volunteers and two ambulances (one at each building). It is important to note that they are emergency medical responders, not paramedics, and will do an initial assessment and determine whether the patient needs to be evacuated (by water taxi, ferry, or helicopter). They do not treat the patient unless it is just a first aid issue. Unlike other Southern Gulf Islands, which have BC Ambulance fully funded by the province, Saturna receives no funding from BC Emergency Health Services. SIR receives a grant from Island Health, which covers approximately 15% of total costs. The rest is funded by donations from islanders and local property taxes.

If you would like to get involved or have questions, please contact any of our Directors. An application form to join SIFPS can be found here.

Saturna Island Fire Protection Society