Esquimalt Fire Department hits 20-year milestone


Esquimalt, BC—Esquimalt Fire Rescue Services celebrated the department’s 20-year anniversary on January 1, 2023 at the township's annual New Years Levée.

The department is well-known in the community for taking an active role in supporting local initiatives. The Esquimalt Firefighters Charitable Foundation supports charities such as the Mustard Seed Foundation, the Esquimalt Curling Club, the Rainbow Kitchen, Lions Baseball, various Esquimalt High programs and Esquimalt Neighborhood House Society—the latter which recently was given a $5,000 donation to help support Esquimalt residents over the holidays.

The 24-member department has one chief and two assistant fire chiefs. In addition to fire suppression and prevention, crews are trained in specialized areas such as structural collapse, first responder certification, confined space and high angle rope rescue. This training helps teach new skills, promote development and share best practices.

Esquimalt Fire Rescue Services (EFRS) promotes strong relationships both within and outside the municipality with events such as hosting Ribfest and the 2022 BC Indigenous Firefighter Competition. The department is also fostering relationship with local schools including developing a spring break fire academy for Esquimalt High students.

The department completed its first four-year strategic plan in late 2022. The plan lists priorities with specific strategies to help hit those priorities. One strategy in the plan is to “Integrate our values into every part of the EFRS.” 

“Our values include innovation, inclusion and respect,” said Fire Chief Steve Serbic. “I’m proud to present an updated crest that commemorates this 20-year milestone in the department and that embodies our values.”

The crest features traditional firefighting elements such as a ladder and hydrant set on a Florian Cross. Included in the cross motif is the Township of Esquimalt coat-of-arms and a wave pattern in the foreground to symbolize the “place of shoaling waters” from which Esquimalt has its name. Finally, the word “Nɘtsɘmat” is Lekwungen for “we are one”. 

The crest was unveiled at the Township’s annual levée. While January 1 marks the anniversary, there will be several events with EFRS announced throughout 2023 that will help celebrate the years of service to the community.

The township previously had a combined police and fire service from 1912 to 2003.
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