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Funds assist North Okanagan, Shuswap volunteer fire departments

$6.3 million is being distributed to 114 fire departments across B.C.
The Armstrong Spallumcheen Fire Department is one of 114 fire departments in B.C. to receive a share of $6.3 million in provincial funding for equipment and training, the B.C. government announced Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

North Okanagan and Shuswap volunteer fire departments are among more than 100 in the province to receive a share of $6.3 million in provincial funding for equipment and training.

The B.C. government announced the funding Thursday, Feb. 16. The funding will be distributed to 114 volunteer and composite fire departments in the province, helping to bolster firefighting response and make the communities safer.

“Many people across the province live in communities with fire services delivered by volunteer or part-volunteer fire departments, and they depend on those fire crews to keep them and their families safe when fires happen,” said Bowinn Ma, Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness. “These fire crews have different challenges than most fire departments, and this funding will go a long way by supporting them to purchase new or replacement equipment and deliver training to their volunteers and staff.”

The North Okanagan Regional District will receive $90,000 for training and equipment.

Elsewhere in the North Okanagan, the Armstrong fire department will receive $30,000 to replace turnout gear. The Enderby department will also receive $30,000, for structural and wildland interface firefighting equipment.

In the Shuswap, Adams Lake Indian Band is getting just under $30,000 for 911 communications enhancements. Chase is getting $27,833 to build the fire department’s response capacity, Sicamous will receive $30,000 and Skwláx te Secwepemcúl̓ecw will get $30,000 for a structural protection unit.

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District is receiving just over $389,000 for in-house training facilities and personal protective equipment.

Plenty more fire departments in the Southern Interior will receive funding. The Okanagan-Similkameen Regional District is getting more than $259,000 to enhance the capability of its volunteer fire departments. Princeton and Oliver will each get $30,000, and Summerland will receive $24,005 for new equipment.

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District will collect $270,000 for emergency preparedness, fire department training and equipment.

The Central Okanagan Regional District will receive $57,600 for training and equipment at the Joe Rich and North Westside fire departments.

In Lake Country, $30,000 will go towards portable radio safety compliance upgrades.

“Volunteer and composite fire departments are vital public safety partners in B.C.’s local and First Nations communities,” said Brian Godlonton, B.C.’s fire commissioner.

“This funding for new equipment and training will support dedicated fire crews as they continue their important work in keeping communities safe.”

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Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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