Spallumcheen Mayor Janice Brown (left)

Fire service changes on tap

Efforts are underway to ensure fire protection meets the needs of Armstrong and Spallumcheen in the future

Efforts are underway to ensure fire protection meets the needs of Armstrong and Spallumcheen in the future.

The two municipalities are proceeding with a number of initiatives to maintain the effectiveness of the fire service, including a possible expansion of the fire hall equipment bays and other facilities.

“Parts of the hall don’t meet code,” said Chris Pieper, Armstrong mayor, of the 35-year-old building.

It’s a tight squeeze to get all of the vehicles inside in the bays and there is insufficient training space.

Hiring a second paid, full-time employee for the largely volunteer operation is also being explored.

“There’s a lot more documentation and accountability for insurance companies. The fire code regulations are onerous on a volunteer department,” said Pieper.

Presently, the only full-time employee is a fire inspector and it hasn’t been decided what duties the second position would be but possibly clerical.

“We have shortfalls with management and administration time,” said Ian Cumming, volunteer fire chief.

Pieper admits adding to the payroll would come at a cost for taxpayers.

“A paid employee impacts the bottom line. No one will do it for free,” he said.

Both municipalities pay towards the fire department’s budget ($525,000 in 2014) and for fire inspection ($113,000).

The timeline for possibly expanding the fire hall or hiring staff will be discussed during the 2015 budget process.

Approval has also been given to a fire service governance committee. It will have two representatives from each council and they will oversee and provide direction on recommended actions included in the recent fire services review.

“We want to fine tune the process so we’re not dealing with two whole councils,” said Janice Brown, Spallumcheen mayor.

A consulting firm, Dave Mitchell and Associates, will provide assistance to implement recommendations related to governance, stagging and training.

There are currently 38 volunteer firefighters and they respond to about 190 calls a year.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

New Armstrong IPE president has deep roots

Heather King elected at IPE’s recent annual general meeting

Study proposed to investigate impact of septic fields in Okanagan Lake

Study would get underway in Killiney Beach and Westshore Estate areas in June

North Okanagan athletes mine Games medals

Ringette team, judoka return home with gold medals from Fort St. John

Resolutions back on track with Vernon Wellness Fair

16th annual fair will showcase tons of products, gear to give that extra boost of motivation

Vernon ultra athlete ‘hearts’ ice baths

Shanda Hill and father carve stunning creations into ice at Ellison Lake

VIDEO: Illicit drug overdoses killed 981 in B.C. in 2019, down 38%

Chief coroner says figures were down about a third in the province’s fourth year of the opioid crisis

Kelowna youth accused of killing 16-year-old released

The young woman was arrested on Feb. 21 and is facing one charge of manslaughter

Interior Health appoints administrator at Summerland Seniors Village

Numerous concerns raised about private seniors care facility

Man arrested following suspicious trailer fire in Kelowna

Reports came in about the fire at approximately 11:45 a.m. on Monday morning

Body discovered following vehicle fire on Kelowna property

Firefighters discovered a body in a home on Anderson Road

‘Please be quiet,’ Kelowna Mayor tells sexual assault survivor protesting in council chambers

Forty per cent of sexual assaults reported to Kelowna RCMP in 2019 were deemed ‘unfounded’

Salmon Arm boy is only Para-Nordic athlete at BC Winter games

Thirteen-year-old Kaden Baum competed in three races on his sit-ski at the games.

B.C. takes over another Retirement Concepts senior care home

Summerland facility latest to have administrator appointed

RCMP pull office from Wet’suwet’en territory, but hereditary chiefs still want patrols to end

Chief says temporary closure of field office not enough as Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute drags on

Most Read