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Delta Cares – Mayor's Message on Public Safety Issues in our Community

Jul 20, 2015

View Punjabi translation.

Dear Resident, 

Three key public safety issues are affecting Delta as you read this letter, and as your Mayor, it is important to me that I provide you with the facts to keep you informed of actions and precautions Delta is taking for the safety of our residents and municipality.

Emergency Medical Response

Public safety is the foremost priority for Delta Council, and for over five years we have been working to address the growing concerns from our residents regarding ambulance wait times and delayed service.

Our goal is simple: We want to ensure faster, more effective responses to Delta residents needing emergency medical care.

Since 2010, Delta has been advocating for the provision of enhanced pre-hospital emergency medical care and licensing for our firefighters. We reviewed emergency response in Delta, and found that most of the time our firefighters arrived on the scene first, minutes earlier than an ambulance—minutes that can seem like hours to a person in medical distress.

To make better use of existing resources and at no additional expense to our taxpayers, we are proud to say that the vast majority of Delta firefighters have now been trained to Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) level.

With the support of the Honourable Terry Lake, Minister of Health, for over two years, Delta has collaborated with BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) to get our firefighters trained to this level, and in September 2014 we had even reached a tentative agreement drafted by BCEHS lawyers.

Prior to finalizing, without explanation to Delta Council or our taxpayers, BCEHS refused to sign the agreement and are looking to challenge our right to have our trained firefighters provide pre-hospital emergency medical care to those in need. BCEHS has now indicated they intend to bring a court application, using taxpayer funds, to stop Delta firefighters from providing this much-needed service. If followed through, this action will speak volumes about whether patient care is the real issue.

To Delta, this is a matter of public safety and we believe that no one should have the right to deny a higher standard of medical care and better patient experience for our residents. We care about the well-being of our residents and, with your support, we are ready to defend our right to provide this supplemented care.

Delta has one of the largest land areas in Metro Vancouver with population spread across three distinct regions and intersected by highways that are often affected by traffic congestion. To address this challenge, the higher level of patient care provided by our firefighters adds value to the system and supplements the critical and invaluable service that BC Ambulance Paramedics provide; it does not replace or devalue the vital role of the BC Ambulance Service.

Delta firefighters will provide enhanced on-scene emergency care only until an ambulance arrives, and will continue to rely on BC Ambulance Service for transporting the patient. This service will ensure that the patient has access to excellent pre-hospital medical care and comfort as soon as a first responder arrives.

Delta supports the call for more ambulances in our community; however, that is a provincial government decision. We cannot keep our residents waiting any longer and Delta Council is determined to do our best with the resources and mandates that we have been given. We are only looking to have what has already been given to other fire departments in communities throughout BC and Canada.

To provide this level of EMR service in the face of increasing challenges simply makes sense as the right thing to do. We hope to come to a solution and welcome collaboration with BCEHS to once again work together to the benefit and safety of our residents.

It is essential for us to remain transparent on this issue. For further reading, please see my recent letter to Mr. Carl Roy, President, and Mr. Wynne Powell, Chair of BCEHS.

Mayor and Council want to hear from you!

We appreciate your support, and invite your feedback or personal experiences regarding this topic while we continue to advocate for the safety of Delta residents and patients.

Send your comments by email or post mail to Mayor and Council at:

Mailing Address: The Corporation of Delta
Mayor's Office
                   4500 Clarence Taylor Crescent
                   Delta, BC   V4K 3E2

Fire Hazard Advisory

Due to continued hot and dry weather conditions, the Fire Danger Rating for Delta and most of British Columbia is EXTREME. In these conditions, fires will start easily, spread rapidly, and challenge fire suppression efforts. 

An Open Burning Ban is in effect for all areas of Delta. There is also an Open Cooking Ban (propane and briquette BBQs) and a Smoking Ban in all Delta parks until further notice. In an effort to minimize the extreme fire risk, the following Delta parks are temporarily closed:

*Please note: the list of park closures is subject to change. 

Delta Fire, Delta Police, the Corporation of Delta’s Park Patrols and Bylaw staff are actively patrolling parks, beaches, and Burns Bog access points to ensure no unauthorized activities are taking place.

Violators who fail to comply with the park closures and bans will be charged with the offence of Trespass, which carries a fine of $200.

I urge you to assist us in our fire prevention efforts. Please report all fires to 9-1-1 and any unauthorized activities, such as smoking or campfires in Delta Parks, to the Delta Police Department’s 24/7 non-emergency line at 604-946-4411.

Water Shortage Response Plan

Hot, dry weather combined with minimal rainfall and low snow pack has caused a water shortage throughout Metro Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. Reservoirs are currently 73% full, and continue to move below our normal range for this time of year. As part of its water shortage response plan, on July 3, 2015, Metro Vancouver raised water restrictions and lawn sprinkling regulations to Stage 2.

UPDATE: On July 20, 2015, due to the unprecedented decrease in water supply, Metro Vancouver raised water restrictions to Stage 3, further restricting water use. LAWN SPRINKLING IS PROHIBITED AT THIS TIMEPlease see updated Stage 3 guidelines and information.  

We need to conserve our water for drinking, health and safety, and fire protection. 

We know many residents have questions about lawn sprinkling, watering vegetable gardens and trees, or using water for household chores such as pressure washing or washing cars. Metro Vancouver has provided a comprehensive list of water use activities and restriction details for the public to follow.

As responsible members of our community, we require you to follow these guidelines to ensure we stabilize our water shortage throughout the summer. As it is still early in the season, we anticipate the Water Shortage Response Plan may be raised to Stage 3 restrictions or higher in the coming weeks. We will notify the public of updates as necessary.

Thank you for your cooperation and commitment to fire prevention and water conservation in our municipality.

Yours truly, 

Lois E. Jackson