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Video: Vernon, BC Firefighters Ask Public For Help at Fire Due to Lack of Manpower

In the video above, a Captain asks bystanders for help in laying supply line by hand around the 3:45 mark. There is more to the story though…. They used to have 4 firefighters on apparatus…now they only run with two. No wonder they needed help. (click for the whole report): 

A Vernon fire captain shouts to a by-stander, “Hey you! Give him a hand”.

His desperation was caught on amateur video Saturday, while he fought an intense house fire Saturday in the North Okanagan town.

The incident is tripping off alarm bells for the fire fighters union.

“It puts us at a huge risk, obviously and obviously the public at a huge risk as well,” says Brent Bond, president of the Vernon Professional Fire Fighters Association.

Video by: Teresa Kennedy. Video info: This fire broke out this morning in downtown Vernon at approximately 10:00 this morning. The location is near the downtown Safeway well known for its rundown houses , some occupied by crack users. Rumour has it that a man was beaten there and returned 2 days later to start the fire. Apparently the tenants occupying the house were forewarned and had left . It is yet to be determined whether anyone was hurt. The paramedics were present.

More video of the fire is below

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Comments - Add Yours

  • EMT-E

    He made a judgement call….I see no issue with asking the public to help, Ive been an EMS provider for almost a decade and I’m not above asking a bystander for help when needed why are we not thanking the civilian and giving him an application to volunteer? The article mentions that staffing was cut so why not supplement with volunteers?

  • Jon

    Where’s the air packs? Why didn’t they hit the hydrant right away? It looks like there are 4 or 5 firefighters wandering around there. Where’s that officer’s back up guy? These FFers need to review their SOP’s and safety procedures. Also, that guy flaking out the hose at the beginning – is that the first time he’s ever done that? Not to be nit picky but they aren’t doing this to the best of their ability. On the manpower end – they need to recruit volunteers. Even full time halls usually have a volunteer aspect associated with it.

    • lou

      The red helmeted firefighter must have been on break or a part timer as he kept shutting down the hose and taking a break and then stopped to put on his gloves. Its always easy to second guess people but they laid off plenty of hose that apparently just sat there all tangled. The blond with the pony tail could consider a helmet too, it would be a shame to have it all frizzled by fire :>)
      Having the public help is not strange…….I did it all the time….makes them believers in the work load we experience. Just keep them in safe areas.

  • JW

    $$ for training is needed not just money for staffing. Sorry for them that looked stressful.

  • GCFD

    I see no problem with asking for help if you need it. However the biggest thing I see is firefighters with no pack. If you make a push from inside, they probably wouldn’t need positive water. The fire service is becoming too concerned with their own safety before others. What if there was someone inside. No house is clear until we search it and confirm it is clear.