Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

August 2023 saw the Gabriola Volunteer Fire Department set a new record for busiest month ever – with 90 callouts for service.

That according to Fire Chief Will Sprogis, during his report to the Board of the Gabriola Fire Protection Improvement District on September 6.

August 2022 was the previous busiest month, with 67 calls.

Driving this August’s numbers were medical responses, as the GVFD saw 45 callouts for medical responses, a new monthly record for the department. December 2022 saw 43.

Other calls for service in August 2023 were 30 calls for Burn Complaints, three Investigations, one Motor Vehicle Incident, two Hydro related, one False Alarm, and eight calls marked as ‘other’.

Total callouts for 2023-to-date are 413, up from 332 in 2022.

Deputy Fire Chief

The Department has posted a position for a Deputy Chief. This is a new position created by the Board. The job description has been posted in the Job Listings on under the Trustees Tab. It has also been put in this Sounder, and posted to the BC Fire Chiefs Association. The position is open for application until Sept. 26.

Gabriola Firefighters help out in Adam’s Lake

On August 16, Gabriola firefighters Glenys and Oliver Bussler drove the #11 tanker out to Adam’s Lake to aid with the wildfire there. The tanker served for 14 days, with the Busslers swapping out halfway with GVFD members Geoff Goodall and Pat Conley.

#11 – the oldest truck in the Gabriola fleet – has now earned the nickname Little Donkey. According to Sprogis, the name was given by a task force leader with B.C Wildfire service.

“The truck is short and stocky carries a lot of weight very maneuverable.”

Little Donkey is back at home in the Albert Reed Memorial Fire Hall sporting a new graphic reflecting the new name.

The Gabriola Firesmart team, led by Carol Waldo, has participated in three community events, done six emergency presentations and has five more presentations pending. Sprogis said this is spurred on by the talk this past month around evacuations, and people wanting to learn and get prepared for wildfire season.

The Firesmart team also ha 52 home assessments scheduled, with 26 of those completed so far.

Last year, the GVFD had received a $30,000 grant through the Union of BC Municipalities which was put towards the Structural Protection trailer.

The same grant stream is being offered this year – with a maximum amount of $50,000 – and Sprogis asked the Board for a resolution to support the GVFD once again applying to that funding stream. Trustee John Moeller made the motion, which was approved by the rest of the Board.

A full listing of call-outs for the Department can be found at

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