Nanoose Volunteer Fire Department

Fire Underwriters Study

The Fire Underwriters Study (FUS) is a process for evaluating and benchmarking fire risk and fire protection levels, primarily intended for insurance underwriting risk.

As municipal planners have come to realize that insurers utilize the fire insurance grades of communities to set the property insurance rates; public fire protection and infrastructure is increasingly being developed in a standardized manner to ensure recognition for fire insurance grading purposes and maximize the cost benefits to property owners.

The Regional District of Nanaimo contracted the services of Opta Intelligence Services Inc. (formerly IAO) – Fire Underwriters Survey to carry out a review of the Nanoose Volunteer Fire Department. The purpose of the assessment is to review the Nanoose Volunteer Fire Department’s capacity to provide current and future fire protection and rescue services to the community of Nanoose Bay.

This report will provide an update on Nanoose Bay Fire Protection Area’s fire insurance grading assignments and make recommendations aimed at improving the level of public fire protection and fire insurance grading classifications when considering the above items.

The full report can be seen here (PDF).


  • Generally a “Good News” report
  • Improved our PFPC (commercial) rating from 8 to 5
  • Improved our DPG (residential) rating within 3A
  • 3A is the highest possible rating with a Volunteer Fire Dept.
  • We received full marks for “Ladder Service” and “Engine and Ladder Company Manning”
  • NVFD received good to excellent (77% – 98%) on most other categories
  • Our two lowest marks were in “Pre Incident Planning” (26%) and “Number of Line Officers – Fire Suppression” (42%)
  • We have just completed training on Pre-Incident Planning with both the officers and crews. We will be working on completion of this program over the next few years
  • Most of our lower marks are directly related to the limitations of a Volunteer Department
  • Fire Loss statistics for Nanoose are below the provincial average for similar sized communities


Apparatus and Equipment

  • 7.2-1 Provide Additional Engine Apparatus
  • 7.2-2 Provide Reserve Engine Apparatus
  • 7.2-3 Adopt Apparatus replacement schedule
  • 12.4-2 Consider purchase of a Ladder apparatus

Personnel and Training

  • 7.2 – 4 Chief Officer Positions
  • 7.2-5 Train and Qualify Additional Firefighters to Officer Positions
  • 7.2- 6 Improve Total Available Fire Force
  • 7.2-7 Establish an annual recruitment and retention program
  • 7.2-8 Establish a Work Experience Program
  • 7.2- 9 Full-time/part-time administrative assistance
  • 7.2-15 Acquire Additional Administration Personnel
  • 8.1-1 Hire a Fire Prevention Officer
  • 12.4-5 Adopt recommended staffing schedule

Policy and Procedures

  • 7.1-1 Develop a Standard of Response cover statement for all areas
  • 7.2-11 Update Standard Operational Guidelines
  • 7.2-13 Develop Pre-Incident Plans for high risks and vulnerable occupancies
  • 7.2-14 Use developed Pre-Incident Plans in training
  • 8.1-2 Develop Standard Operating Policies relating to fire prevention and Public education
  • 10.1-3 Apply for Superior Tanker Shuttle Service (STSS) Accreditation
  • 12.4-1 Develop Standard of Response Cover statements for new developments
  • 12.4-4 Update fire prevention programs
  • 6.3-6 Carry out a Simplified Risk Assessment

Regional District of Nanaimo

  • 7.2-12 Develop a plan to implement the recommendations of the Community Wildfire Protection Plan
  • 8.1-3 Implement smoke alarm program and target specific inspection programs
  • 8.1-4 Develop Fire Prevention Bylaw
  • 10.1-1 Carry out flow tests on the Nanoose Peninsula and Englishman River systems
  • 10.1-2 Develop a water servicing by-law
  • 12.4-3 Install sprinkler systems in proposed developments

The Plan

  • Some items are already in the works for this year.
  • We will be looking at 12.4-1 “Develop a Standard of Response” this year.
  • We will be working on a program to make use of FF personnel for the some administrative assistance and developing pre-incident plans. 12.4-10 and 12.4-14
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