Fire protection proposal ignites concern

Spallumcheen mayor questions fire protection agreement with regional district

Spallumcheen’s mayor has a couple of questions over a proposed fire suppression first responder agreement.

Will Hansma pondered, among things, the financial contributions about the proposed agreement that would see the BX-Swan Lake Fire Department respond first to fires in Spallumcheen accessible from parts  of Area C in the Regional District of North Okanagan.

“If we look at this, is there a reduction that comes from the amount we pay to the Armstrong-Spallumcheen joint fire function because now we’re not having protection there?” said Hansma.

“Have we really thought about this plan in regards to how we’ve built up our fire department to accommodate servicing the whole township.”

The plan was proposed and discussed with township staff but not council.

While the fire department is a joint service between the township and City of Armstrong, only the township would be responsible for financial obligations under this proposal.

Hansma said Spallumcheen could be paying $1,800 if there was a fire in those areas without the Armstrong-Spallumcheen department ever getting into one of its trucks and driving over to put out the fire.

“We’re talking about paying another fire department for protection in that area regardless of whether they get there first or not,” he said.

There is a mutual aid agreement between Spallumcheen and the BX-Swan Lake department. Currently, if the Armstrong-Spallumcheen department needs additional help in battling a blaze, it’s handled through mutual aid.

The matter has been deferred to a joint meeting of Armstrong and Spallumcheen councils Nov. 12.

Spallumcheen council did pass an agreement with Armstrong and the Regional District of North Okanagan, which has jurisdiction over the BX-Swan Lake department, to provide dual response fire suppression and first responder services to portions of the township and Area C.


Vernon Morning Star