The primary aim of the Highlands Volunteer Fire Department is to make life safer for us all, responding as quickly as possible to medical emergencies, motor vehicle incidents (they used to be called 'accidents'), and fires without putting lives at risk.
Responding to Calls
Our firefighters carry pagers to alert them to emergencies. If the dispatcher does not get a response within a few minutes, the pager is toned again. If there is still no response or if the nature of the emergency is such that more help is needed, firefighters from neighboring communities will be called in. The Highlands has mutual aid agreements with View Royal, Langford, Colwood, Willis Point, and the British Columbia Forest Service.
Volunteers responding to calls travel to the fire hall driving their own vehicles with their four-way flashers on. When you're on the road, if you see a vehicle approaching you from behind with its flashers going, pull over as quickly as possible to let it pass, just as you would any other emergency vehicle. It's in all of our best interests to get out of the way.
Since responders are not given much detail at the time of the call, they must be prepared for the worst and treat every call as a major emergency. Fire trucks are taken to every call, and sirens must be sounded every time, day and night.
Firefighters won't know how serious the situation is or what equipment will be needed until they reach the scene. Every call to a motor vehicle incident, for example, requires that the Jaws of Life as well as firefighting and medical equipment be available.
The first firefighters to arrive assess the scene to determine what response is required. They relay information back to the fire hall to call in more help or equipment if necessary, or to call off other responders if their assistance is not needed.