2014 CAE Recipient Profile - BC Wildfire Management Branch
The province of British Columbia has spectacular rich forests and wildlands spread over 95 million hectares. It is the most diverse geographic region in Canada and includes a rugged coastline, mountainous terrain, rolling grasslands and forests. There is also great variation in weather conditions throughout the province, resulting in some of the most difficult fire management conditions in Canada.
The BC Wildfire Management Branch (WMB) is the lead wildfire agency for the province and has been responsible for protecting British Columbia’s communities and natural resources from wildfires since 1912. The WMB consists of approximately 300 permanent, full-time staff and 1,200 seasonal auxiliary staff located across the province. Through the use of coordinated aviation management and highly trained fire line response crews, the WMB has historically contained 92 per cent of all wildfires at less than four hectares in size. The organization’s high degree of professionalism, experience and innovation has been recognized around the world. British Columbia’s WMB provides wildfire response crews and resources to other jurisdictions when called upon in times of crisis.
To successfully fulfill its mandate, the WMB relies on the support and cooperation of numerous other agencies, ministries, departments, levels of governments and natural resource industries. The WMB maintains strong partnerships with other wildfire agencies throughout Canada, abroad and within the FLNRO, in addition to numerous partnerships with contractors and clients which are essential to the WMB’s success.
The WMB began undertaking the development and implementation of a quality management framework in 2012. To assist with the development of a framework, the Wildfire Leadership Team (WLT) endorsed using the Excellence Canada certification and recognition program.
The WMB has numerous policies, procedures, guidelines and business processes throughout the organization with safety, legal, and resource efficiency ramifications. The objectives of the WMB quality management framework are to:
- Ensure policies, procedures, guidelines and business processes are systematically reviewed, evaluated and analyzed for improvement at an appropriate level and to an identified standard;
- Monitor adherence to Ministry and Branch policies, procedures, standard operating guidelines and business practices;
- Ensure that WMB business processes, programs, projects and services are being delivered as effectively and efficiently as possible; and
- Provide confidence to the public, industry, government, and national or international clients that WMB does business within a recognized and third-party audited system.
In July 2012, the WMB received Bronze certification from Excellence Canada receiving external validation on the organization’s dedication to working towards organizational excellence. Since that time the organization has been working diligently to identify the branch’s many strengths, and have been developing action plans to address identified opportunities for improvement.
On June 27, 2014 the WMB received certification at the Silver level in the Excellence, Innovation and Wellness category.