Diagram showing tankers transporting water to a portable dump tank that a fire truck is using

Discussing a Superior Tanker Shuttle Service on Cortes Island

How our local government works

Editor’s note: A spokesperson for the Cortes Island Fire Fighting Association subsequently said the Superior Shuttle Tanker Service is not a priority at this time and they are not interested in meeting with the SRD on this topic.

SRD staff was instructed to arrange a meeting the Cortes Island Fire Fighting Association Board (CIFFA) and Regional Director Noba Anderson to discuss plans for a Superior Tanker Shuttle Service on Cortes Island. 

Figure 4.2 Water Storage Tank at Cortes Island School – courtesy Superior Tanker Shutter Service Feasibility study (SRD)
Figure 1.1 Current Cortes Island Infrastructure and Assets courtesy Superior Tanker Shutter Service Feasibility study (SRD)

If this program were to go forward as detailed in the budget, it would cost approximately $480,000 will be spent on items like new 10,000 gallon water tanks for Whaletown and Mansons Landing, as well as a water tender truck.

Firefighters in neighbouring communities like Salt Spring Island (2011), Powell River (2017) and  Hornby Island (2018), found the Superior Tanker Shuttle Service enables them to deliver water suppression at the exact same standard as urban fire departments.

SRD staff has prepared a detailed report for Cortes which, according to Anderson, has a lot of useful information but also proposes things the Cortes Fire department is already doing.  

At their September 8th meeting, the Electoral Areas Services Committee passed an unanimous recommendation that SRD staff meet with Anderson and the fire department. 

However staff were not supportive when Anderson raised this topic at the October 6th meeting of the full board.

According to Tom Yates, corporate services manager at the SRD, staff has been meeting with the Cortes Fire Department since the beginning. 

Chief Administrative officer David Leitch added that he did not understand what Anderson expected to get out of such a meeting.

“At this point, I can’t take further action on this report because so much of it is already either being implemented, or is planned to be implemented, or is not appealing to CIFFA,” said Anderson. “It seems much more effective to have all those parties at the table to discuss who might do what? And who is already doing what?” 

Anderson would like to have this resolved before submitting Cortes Island figures to the next annual budget. 

Fig 5.7 Proposed budget (After this article was published, a spokesperson for the Cortes Fire Fighters informed Cortes Currents that (1) they already have, or are in the process of obtaining some of these items (2) their cost estimates are lower and (3) the Superior Shuttle Tanker System is not a priority on Cortes, they have higher priority items to fund.)

The SRD Board passed a resolution that the staff “report be referred to the Cortes Island Fire Fighting Association Board for a joint discussion between them, SRD staff and the Director for the area.”

To photo credit: How a tanker shuttle service works – fig 5.1 from Superior Tanker Shutter Service Feasibility study (SRD)

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