Okanagan Landing firefighters garner support

Okanagan Landing firefighters say they have the support of residents.

Okanagan Landing firefighters say they have the  support of residents.

More than 500 people attended an open house Sunday to show support for the volunteer firefighters who have lost their service contract with the City of Vernon.

“It tells us the community really values the Landing association,” said Todd Montgomery, Okanagan Landing Volunteer Firefighters Association president.

“We heard nothing but good comments about our (service) model. There are a lot of people frustrated with the city.”

There are currently about 1,000 signatures on a petition demanding that the service contract be reinstated.

Names will continue to be collected and then the association will make a presentation to city council.

“We will ask them to reconsider their decision,” said Montgomery.

But there may be little room for movement.

“City of Vernon staff don’t award contracts based on petitions organized by the beneficiaries of the contract,” said Mayor Rob Sawatzky.

Sawatzky stands behind bringing the Landing volunteers under a command structure based out of the Vernon fire hall.

“None of the facts presented to council when we made the original decision have changed. There’s been no new information,” he said.