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Protection pumped up at Predator with Vernon Fire Rescue recruits

Station 3 at the resort now has dedicated crew of 10 trained members
Vernon Fire Rescue Services auxiliary firefighters received their helmets and pagers during a graduation ceremony at Fire Station 3 on July 11, 2023. The event was attended by members of Vernon City Council and the Predator Ridge community. (City of Vernon photo)

Vernon Fire Rescue Services (VFRS) was pleased to introduce some of its newest firefighters to residents of the Predator Ridge community recently.

During an open house at Fire Station 3 hosted for nearby residents, a group of 10 new auxiliary firefighters was introduced, who recently completed basic training and orientation.

As of Wednesday (July 12), the group is operational out of Station 3, located on Predator Ridge Drive.

“We are very proud of Vernon’s auxiliary force that has been serving this community for many years,” said fire chief David Lind. “Auxiliary members in Vernon serve alongside career firefighters and help bolster our department’s resources to serve the community at large – particularly during larger fire events.

“Today marks a special day for our department because we have been actively recruiting members who live or work in and around the Predator Ridge area with a goal of being able to offer a more regular auxiliary service out of Station 3. With the graduation of these new recruits from basic training, we are now able to realize that service goal.”

The VFRS Eight Year Strategic Plan guides the operation and balanced growth of the fire department. As part of that plan, the department staffs Station 3 with career firefighters during high risk periods (such as extreme heat events with extreme fire danger ratings). When Station 3 is not staffed, career firefighters are deployed from Stations 1 and 2, located downtown and in the Okanagan Landing area, respectively.

Now with an expanded auxiliary force that has members who live or work in the Predator Ridge area, Vernon Fire Rescue will be able to deploy firefighters from Station 3 more often. The auxiliary crew assigned to Station 3 is trained to attack a fire from an exterior position while more resources are en route. Non-fire responses will continue to be dispatched from Stations 1 and 2.

“In addition to introducing our newest members and celebrating their training accomplishments, we’d like to take a moment to thank all of the auxiliary and career firefighters in Vernon – past and present – for the great work and service they have provided over the years,” said Lind. “Serving the community as a firefighter is a courageous and community-minded thing to do and we are grateful for your service.”

The current VFRS strategic plan will end in 2025, which means the department will begin developing a new multi-year plan next year. As part of that development process, Vernon Fire Rescue will be seeking public input to help inform the plan and its goals and objectives in delivering effective and efficient fire rescue services across the community.

More information about public input opportunities will be provided when it becomes available.

READ MORE: Wildfire smoke from Caribou blows into Okanagan, Shuswap: Environment Canada

READ MORE: Hot spots still being monitored at Spallumcheen wildfire


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