How We Ensure the Safety of Residents and Guests in Our Lands and Oceans
Whether it’s mountains, forests, or waters, our emergency management programs are designed to keep both visitors and members safe. Established in 2015, the Gitga’at Emergency Response Team provides emergency response services under one umbrella organization, not including law enforcement.
Due to Hartley Bay’s isolated location, there are few emergency response services available from external providers, so the community must be self-reliant. The goal is on prevention as much as a response, so that fewer incidents happen in the first place. By relying less on outside resources, the community can be self-sufficient.
Volunteer Fire Dept
Fire protection services are delivered to the community using a three-part plan. First, an emphasis is provided on education to both the public and school kids to prevent fires in the first place. Second, annual fire inspections of buildings reduce the likelihood of fires happening and ensure appropriate fire evacuation and safety procedures are in place. Lastly, fire suppression services are provided by our volunteer fire department which responds to residential, commercial or interface fires. The Gitga’at Volunteer Fire Department currently has a roster of 17 community members.
Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCM-SAR) Station 67
Marine search and rescue services are provided for the area surrounding Hartley Bay by a crew of volunteers who operate RCM SAR Station 70. This team works closely with the Canadian Coast Guard and relies on vessels owned by the Gitga’at Guardian Watchmen program. Any vessels who are in distress can get assistance from this hard-working team.
Whether it’s vessels running aground, mariners experiencing medical emergencies, or vessels getting lost, this team is there for residents and guests in a time of great need. In 2006, the sinking of the BC Ferry Queen of the North brought international attention to the area and highlighted the need for stronger marine protection services based on the GFN’s history of helping people.