The dispatch desk at the Kelowna Fire Department’s main hall. —Image: Kelowna fire fighters

Kelowna Fire Department to handle Vernon, OKIB dispatch

Five-year contract will net Kelowna more than $200,000 says fire chief

Kelowna fire department dispatchers better start brushing up on Vernon locations.

That’s because the department is expanding its dispatch service to include fire calls for the City of Vernon and the Okanagan Indian Band.

Kelowna city council approved a five-year contract with the two north Okanagan communities Monday, a deal that Kelowna fire chief Travis Whiting said would result in more than $200,000 in revenue to the city.

Under the deal, Vernon would pay $944,000 for the KFD to handle its dispatch services and the OKIB would pay $78,000.

Vernon and the OKIB will join the regional districts of Central Kootenay, Kootenay Boundary and Okanagan Similkameen, all of which currently contract out their fire call dispatch service to the KFD.

Whiting said the additional workload will not impact service provided by the department to Kelowna.

The KFD started handling fire call dispatch for other communities in 2011 with the RDCO. In 2016 it added the Regional District of East Kootenay, and the two other Kootenay regional districts earlier this year.

Whiting said he expects his dispatchers to take over the Vernon and OKIB calls in mid-October.

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