Mary Jo-O’Keefe

OKIB receives 911 dispatch

Calling 911 to report a fire is a process Okanagan Indian Band residents are just being introduced to

Calling 911 to report a fire is something most of us take for granted, but it’s a process Okanagan Indian Band residents are just being introduced to.

While a firm date has not been determined yet, some time this fall, anyone on the reserve along Westside Road will be able to call 911 about a fire through a contract with the City of Vernon’s dispatch centre.

“Public safety is a huge concern,” said Byron Louis, band chief, after signing an agreement with Vernon Coun. Mary-Jo O’Keefe Tuesday.

Presently, fires on band land are handled by an answering service established by the Okanagan Indian Band Fire Department.

“The past system was so antiquated with 1980s equipment,” said Mike Doherty, with the department.

“Answering personnel are not trained to be or act as an emergency service centre. With no assistance during or afterwards, we lost five to 15 minutes from the actual caller.”

The band’s department has been seeking access to 911 for 13 years.

“It will result in a faster response time and more detailed information for our members,” said Doherty.

Jack Blair, a Vernon Fire Department deputy chief, is confident the city’s dispatch centre can benefit the band’s department.

“They can get advice and prompt answers when needed,” he said.

“We have the expertise of our dispatcher and on-duty local firefighters.”

The agreement is for five years and the band will pay $8,000 for the first year.

“It generates some funds for the city,” said Blair.

Louis hopes the 911 service is the first step towards all jurisdictions working on a regional emergency plan.

“There needs to be more co-ordinated effort,” he said.


Just Posted

Vernon eco-friendly home tour builds support for students

Canadian Federation of University Women host fifth annual fundraiser

Westwold stars in thriller film

Beyond the Woods set to release in June 2019

Fire destroys pickup: Vernon Fire Rescue

A vehicle is a total write off after a late night fire, the Fire Department says

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Rainy days ahead

Rain in the forecast until Wednesday

Hitting the trails with Vernon’s Bush Babes and Bros

Dawna Jodoin’s love of trail running has led to a booming Vernon business

VIDEO: Fire contained to garage beside East Kelowna house

Garage is fully involved, say firefighters

Total hogwash: Mr. Banks gives Okanagan cars a piggy polish

Mr. Banks, who lives on the Critteraid farm in the Okanagan, was offering the service on the weekend

Kamloops chamber of commerce director let go after controversial Facebook posts

Facebook account had derogatory comments about Muslims, Justin Trudeau

Kokanee swimmers leave mark on provincials

Eleven Vernon swimmers were in Kamloops for the competition

B.C. RCMP officer cleared after Taser incident seriously injures woman

Woman with knives refused to comply with orders therefore officer used appropriate level of force

Letter: Technology, not govt, reason for costly vehicle repairs

In regards to the full page ad, written and signed by David… Continue reading

‘Bikinishe’ swimwear retailer prompts Better Business Bureau warning

Watchdog has gotten dozens of complaints about company, which has been using fake Vancouver address

Letter: More public involvement key to swaying council

Unless more people attend council meetings, little will change letter writer says

Video: Shuswap home to thriving community of beekeepers

Apiary operators share details about how they keep their hives healthy

Most Read