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Update from BC Hydro- Sunday Dec 11th

Crews have completed repairs to the damaged electrical circuit to Gabriola Island and service has returned to normal. Thank you for your patience and your efforts to conserve power while we completed these repairs. Update from GVFD- Thank you to all the volunteers and residents that helped during this outage. While a power outage on Gabriola is not uncommon, the communication outage was. Lack of cell service and limited landline 911 put residents of Gabriola in a potentially dangerous situation as most were unable to call for help. GVFD used our backup emergency microwave telephone to contact RDN for assistance. RDN recived a tasking number from Emergency Management BC to provide assistance to Gabriola. We received sat phones for emergency services, and manpower for HAM radio operators from Coast Emergency Communications Association. GVFD immediately manned the firehall 24/7 and used members of GVFD, CECA, ESS, and community members with medical background as our 911 dispatchers. During the course of the outage the GVFD received and relayed dozens of emergency calls for fire, police, and ambulance via cell to our duty officer line, the main firehall telephone line, and from people coming directly to the firehall. GVFD also had a member stationed full time at the south end of the Island who was able to monitor social media and relay several facebook messenger requests for help. GVFD also issued fire department radios to BCAS, ESS, and RCMP so we could communicate through our repeater. GVFD Fire Chief remained incident commander for the entire week, and was in constant communication with outside agencies and local crews. We would like to encourage residents to sign up for Voyent Alert which is the emergency system the RDN uses to notify residents of emergency situations. Voyent alert can be used by Cell, smartphone app, landlines, and email. Thank you

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