Rumour Mill & RoundUpDate Vol. 15 Issue 22

In this slightly technical issue we take a forward look at recent developments with BCTS contracting, consider the possibility of GIS tracking for emergency response and feature a faller figurine cutting down a forest of rusty nails; for those who just like the pictures…

Warning: Some of the facts contained in this issue refer to future possibilities and therefore are subject to Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle resulting in editorial quantum fuzziness maybe.

Getting BCAC Back On Track

bctsAfter a hiatus of more than a year the BC Timber Sales Contract Advisory Committee (BCAC) will formally meet again early next year. The committee, which is charged with maintaining communication and collaboration between BCTS and its contractor communities, was revived after a meeting between the WSCA and senior BCTS executives this week. As a result of that session BCTS is expected to soon announce clarifications and possible revisions to its optional standing bid security scheme. These changes will consider contractor input from the WSCA on matters related to the forfeiture of bid securities and sanctions, the separation of bid securities and performance securities, and other practical technicalities arising out of implementing the plan. BCAC will have its plate full. Next month BCTS and WSCA reps will meet to frame a proposed contractor rating system to be applied against tenders beginning as soon as next year.  The WSCA has been asked as well to propose a plan to conduct a series of workshops on contract tendering and administration in 2016 similar to the previous sessions on FS704 planting inspections. It has been almost 20 years since the last joint contract management seminars were held. It is possible that contractors and BCTS may have some brushing up to do in this area.

Can GIS Systems Save Time And Lives In Emergency Response?

A GIS common operating picture could allow for mutual aid and better asset dispatch.
A GIS common operating picture could allow for mutual aid and better asset dispatch.
At an emergency response planning (ERP) meeting of first responders and practitioners last spring in Prince George, an emergency doctor surprised many in the room by saying it wasn’t necessarily having more oxygen on site or better trained first aid people, but better communication that could do the most to improve seriously inured workers’ chances on remote sites. That counter intuitive idea now is the underpinning to a BC SAFE Silviculture Program proposed ERP pilot to better link injured workers, available safety assets, and first responders using GIS tracking platforms. Also embedded in the concept is establishing a dedicated emergency channel as part of the ongoing harmonization of resource road radio frequencies across the province. The pilot is being proposed for the Prince George region and, if it seems feasible, will work alongside another plan under development through the BC Forest Safety Council to track fallers using a GIS system. It is evident that the technology is well advanced in these fields and independent communications ecosystems using GIS are growing across the province. The real challenge may be in committing and coordinating all the various actors across the industry and the health care and emergency management system.

Silviculture Sawing Could Be A Step Towards Falling

Don't let your slashing skills get rusty.
Don’t let your slashing skills get rusty.
OK, it’s an awkward headline. But what we mean is that the BC SAFE Silviculture Program is now working with the BC Forest Safety Council’s Falling Technical Advisory Committee (FTAC) to see how its silviculture saw training (slashing) might be brought into line with falling certification competencies. The goal would be to recognize slashing training and experience as counting as competency credits towards certification as a faller in B.C. Hand fallers require considerable training to acquire the basic skills to reach competency. When the training is undertaken all at once it requires months of instruction, tutelage and the expenses to go with it. At a time when hand fallers are aging out of the industry there is pressure to find alternative ways to fill their ranks with skilled workers. This modular scheme is being considered including arborist work, wildfire fighting and oil and gas falling. The opportunity comes at a time when silviculture saw operator instruction has languished due to low demand for silviculture slashing and lack of awareness of the training. If the silviculture saw training was seen as a step towards faller certification it might be an incentive for trainees and existing operators to come out of the woodwork to take the course.