COW ELECTION 2014

LIVE CAM HWY 97 @ WESTSIDE RD

CHBC TV News

Carr's Landing

Joe Rich Community

Trepanier

Kelowna Capital News
Issuu

Kelowna Daily Courier

Penticton Herald

Penticton Western

Summerland Review

Sumrlnd.myezrock

Vernon Morning Star
Issuu

Vernon Daily Courier

Castanet.net

Bennett Bridge Cam

Interior Highway Cams

Kelowna Airport

Regional District of Central Okanagan

RDCO's Facebook

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen

District of Lake Country

District of Peachland

City of Penticton

District of Summerland

City of Vernon

District of West Kelowna

--------


Kelowna's Best Rock

RDCO Board Calender
RDCO Meeting Schedule

RDCO Board Reports

RDCO Board Agenda

RDCO Board Minutes

Gov Service Agenda

Gov Service Minutes

NWCA Minutes

SILGA - Board

UBCM

RDCO GIS Map

For sprinkling and watering days, click here.

-------

Westside Rd. Maps

C.O.W. Links

NW Ratepayers

Edgson News

NWCA

Westside Rd Interchange

Westside Road Updates

Westside Rd COMPLAINT FORM

Westside Residents Association

Jobs in Vernon

Jobs in Kelowna

Report Email Spam here.

Report Bad Links Here

Food Action Society

JOKES

WolframAlpha
Calculator/Answers

WikiLeaks.org

Datadotgc.ca

OpenDataBC

ProactiveDisclosure

BCGov FOI form

BC Forest Fire Info
Twitter
Facebook

BC Wildfires of Note
EmergencyInfoGovBC
Sound Cloud

Scan BC

Kelowna Yacht Club Wind Direction/Speed

MissingKids.ca

Follow okanaganlakebc.ca on Twitter

Follow OkanaganLakeBC on Twitter

okanagan lake directory, waterfront vacation rentals, local businesses, shopping, vernon, kelowna, westbank, westside, winfield, kaleden, oyama, peachland, penticton, summerland, naramata

North Westside Road BC Fire Rescue Dept.

A Local North Westside Road BC Fire Dept. with Hall at Killiney Beach BC

Gossip and Information

This is not the official website of the North Westside Road Fire Rescue. 

Go to NWFR official website.
http://www.nwfr.ca/

This webpage is made up of a collection of information we found scattered around the internet and
in the local North Westside Road BC community.
There are comments people made.  You can make a comment yourself about the Fire Dept or anything to do with Fire and Rescue in the North Westside Road BC community.

Fire Practice is Tues nights.

Last updated January 21, 2016

Click on your refresh button in the top menu, to be sure you see any updates.

Blue Divider Line

The North Westside Road Firehall is located at:

514 Udell Rd.
(Killiney Beach) Vernon, BC, V1H 2G2
E-mail: n_westside_fire_rescue "at" telus.net

North Westside Fire Rescue Hall: 250-545-1195
Fire Chief's cell: 250-558-9293

Blue Divider Line

Pics of the NEW North Westside Road Fireboat

Blue Divider Line

REPORT FIREBOAT SIGHTINGS HERE

Blue Divider Line

NWFR on Facebook

Blue Divider Line

Online Fire Science Degree

This is a great resource for information

Blue Divider Line

NORTH WESTSIDE ROAD FIRE/RESCUE APPARATUS

PUMPER 101 - 1979 MACK 1050

ENGINE 101 - 1985 F-700 4X4

MARINE ENGINE 101

TENDER 101 - 2001 FL-112 1500 IG

TENDER 102 -2008 I-7500

TYPE II SPU TRAILER

SQUAD 101 - 2008 F-550 CALFS

BUSH 102 - CHEVY 3500

COMMAND TRAILER

RESCUE 101 - 1993 F-250

WILDLAND 101 - 2010 POLARIS 6X6 UTV

ENGINE 101 - ON ORDER DUE MARCH

ENGINE 102 - ON ORDER DUE MARCH

This info was found on the North Westside Road Fire/Rescue Website September 20, 2013

Blue Divider Line

These two Consolidated Fire Bylaws below were downloaded on March 20th, 2015

RDCO Consolidated Fire Prevention and Regulations Bylaw 1066

RDCO Consolidated Smoke Control Bylaw 773

Blue Divider Line

Woman has Okanagan fire chief harassment conviction overturned
Vernon Morning Star - August 03, 2019 - by Sean Mott

OKANAGAN - A woman who was found guilty of harassing an Okanagan volunteer fire chief had her conviction overturned in June.

Sharon Joyce Schnurr was found guilty on Aug. 20, 2018 on one count of harassing communications based on a series of phone calls to volunteer fire chief Jason Satterthwaite. The repeated calls were related to complaints about smoke, but the original trial judge said Schnurr harassed Satterthwaite without excuses.

In a transcribed decision, Justice Anthony Saunders said the evidence did not support the claim that Schnurr had no lawful reason to repeatedly contact Satterthwaite and he overturned the conviction in the B.C. Supreme Court on June 21.

The decision laid out the facts of the case, which showed that Schnurr repeatedly called Satterthwaite between March 30 and April 4, 2017 to complain about smoke. Satterthwaite investigated the area and found no violation. Schnurr called Satterthwaite several times to complain about smoke, noting concern for the health of her dog.

In the original trial, Satterthwaite claimed their are permissible times to generate smoke from open fires in the Okanagan. Justice Saunders, in his decision, said that claim was false, saying no bylaw in the area allows for the generation of smoke nuisances from open fires. Saunders said Satterthwaite's complaint of harassment over matters that weren't bylaw infractions was unfounded.

In the decision, Saunders said Satterthwaite's misunderstanding of smoke nuisance bylaws and Schnurr's concern for her pet's safety gave Schnurr a lawful reason to repeatedly call Satterthwaite.

Saunders said he agreed with the original judge's assessment that Schnurr's intentions may have been to harass Satterthwaite, but he said harassing a public official in an attempt to goad them into doing their job cannot be criminal.

Saunders ordered the conviction be set aside and a finding of not guilty be substituted.

Source: https://infotel.ca/newsitem/woman-has-okanagan-fire-chief-harassment-conviction-overturned/it64621

=============

https://infotel.ca/newsitem/woman-has-okanagan-fire-chief-harassment-conviction-overturned/ image of story on Infonews

https://globalnews.ca/news/5729351/okanagan-woman-not-guilty-harassing-fire-chief/ image of story on Global News

Link to Court Ruling

https://www.bccourts.ca/jdb-txt/sc/19/12/2019BCSC1239.htm image of court judgement

And RDCO still has me banned from reporting bylaw infraction

Video of Jason the North Westside Fire Rescue Chief not doing his job

Blue Divider Line

Ban issued for all campfires, fireworks, open burning throughout most of B.C.
GlobalNews.ca - by Amy Judd - July 3, 2015

A ban has now been issued on all campfires, fireworks and open burning throughout the majority of B.C.

The ban will go into effect at noon today and will remain in place indefinitely. It applies to B.C. parks, Crown and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of local governments that have forest fire prevention bylaws and are serviced by a fire department.


Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson announced in a release that this “extraordinary step” is being taken to prevent human-caused wildfires and to protect public safety. Crews around the province are responding to more than 150 active fires and as the hot and dry weather continues, the risk will only increase.

The goal is to cut down on preventable, human-caused fires that divert critical personnel and resources from other incidents.

Campfires will still be allowed in the area known as the ‘Fog Zone’ along the western coast of Vancouver Island. This zone extends from Owen Point (near Port Renfrew) north to the tip of Vancouver Island and around to the boundary of the District of Port Hardy.

This ban applies to:

open fires of any size, including campfires;
the use of fireworks, sky lanterns and tiki torches;
burning barrels or burning cages of any size or description;
the use of binary exploding targets (e.g., for rifle target practice); and
the use of air curtain burners (forced-air burning systems).
This prohibition does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes. It also does not apply to a portable campfire apparatus with a CSA or ULC rating that uses briquettes, liquid or gaseous fuel, with a flame length of 15 centimetres or less.

People using these stoves should still check any local fire bans however.

Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a ticket for $345, required to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call 1-800-663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.

Blue Divider Line

Did you know that burning permit fires can be left to burn overnight unattended while the people responsible for the fire sleep?  We thought that fires had to be attended to meaning that someone had to be standing with the fire to make sure it does not get out of control, but that isn't the case.  You can't leave an unattended campfire burning, so why can you leave something else (same type thing, wood) burning unattended while sleeping, especially in a subdivision?

RDCO Consolidated Fire Prevention and Regulations Bylaw #1066

e) The person to whom a permit for open burning has been issued shall be responsible for the management of the fire.

i) The person to whom a permit for open burning has been issued shall ensure that all burning is conducted and concluded between 7:00 a.m. and sunset of the same day except as authorized in Section 7) j).

j) The person to whom a permit for open burning has been issued may continue a fire beyond one day to a maximum of three days for large dried material such as stumps and wood in excess of eight inches in diameter, however, no further permitted burning materials shall be added to the fire after 5:00 p.m. of each day of the fire. The fire shall be maintained at all times as a Substantially smokeless fire.

n) The person to whom a permit for open burning has been issued shall have a competent person at all times in charge of the fire.

0) The person to whom a permit for open burning has been issued shall control the fire so that it does not:
i. spread beyond the extent of a pile being burned,
ii. damage adjacent property or
iii. cause a nuisance.

Source: RDCO Consolidated Fire Prevention and Regulations Bylaw 1066

Blue Divider Line

Open burning in Okanagan to be restricted May 15
GlobalNews.ca - April 28, 2014 - Doris Maria Bregolisse

Fire restrictions will begin May 15th within the Kamloops Fire Zone, including the Okanagan Valley.
bcwildfire.ca

KELOWNA, B.C. – Smoke plumes continue to rise from the Okanagan landscape while farmers reduce pruning’s with flames, but that is set to change.

The BC Wildfire Management Branch says the size of open fires will be restricted as of noon, May 15th.

Limiting burning pile materials and sizes are part of an effort to help prevent human-caused wildfires and for public protection, according to the Ministry announcement released Monday morning.

The restrictions apply to the Kamloops Fire Centre, where crews have responded to 38 wildfire incidents covering more than 438 hectares since April 1st.

Incidents have mostly resulted from poorly planned open burning, according to the Wildfire Management Branch.

The exceptions to the upcoming May 15th restrictions within the Kamloops Fire Centre are the Clearwater and Salmon Arm Fire Zones. Prohibitions in those two zones will begin June 15th.

The Branch information release states, “Specifically, prohibited activities include:

- the burning of any waste, slash or other materials (piled or unpiled) larger than one-half metre by one-half metre
- the burning of more than two open fires of any size at the same time
- stubble or grass fires of any size over any area
- the use of fireworks, sky lanterns or burning barrels of any size or description

“This prohibition does not ban campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide (or smaller) and does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.

“This prohibition covers all B.C. parks, Crown lands and private lands, but it does not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has forest fire prevention bylaws in place and is serviced by a fire department. Before lighting any fire, residents should check with local civic authorities regarding any current prohibitions.”

To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call *5555 on your cellphone or call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free.

Blue Divider Line

Wildfire mitigation on meeting agenda
by Wayne Moore - Kelowna - Story: 103664 - Nov 28, 2013

The City of Kelowna and RDCO will be discussing the wildfire fuel mitigation projects with local residents on Dec. 3. (File photo of BC Fire Fighters starting a fire to mitigate wildfire fuel)

The City of Kelowna and the Regional District of Central Okanagan will be holding a public meeting, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. to discuss details of the wildfire fuel mitigation projects with local residents.

The City and the RDCO will be completing wildfire fuel mitigation projects in South East Kelowna over the next several months.

The objective of these projects is to reduce the wildfire threat to the community, which is noted in the City’s Community Wildfire Protection Plan.

While more details will be shared with residents at the meeting, the projects will go forward within the South East Kelowna Improvement District, on provincial Crown land and in Scenic Canyon Regional Park.

The forests will be thinned, pruned and the dead or dying trees will be removed, which should leave the area with a low to moderate wildfire risk.

The treatment area boundary will be developed to create a significant fuel break, which helps with suppression efforts by minimizing potential fire behaviour and providing access in the event of a wildfire.

The treatments will attempt to balance public safety with the environmental values and recreational functions of the area.

The public meeting will be begin at 7 p.m. in the Gallagher’s Canyon Activity Centre Auditorium.

Blue Divider Line

November 27, 2013

New Fire Chief for North Westside Fire Rescue Department

The Regional District didn’t have to look far to find a new full-time Chief for the North Westside Fire Protection Service Area.

Effective December 1st, Doug Gardiner takes on the full-time management position for the paid-on-call fire department. It provides fire protection and medical first response to residents living in the communities of Killiney Beach, Westshore Estates, Fintry Delta, Valley of the Sun and La Casa resort along the north end of Westside Road within the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area.

Gardiner has been acting as the department’s Interim Chief since early August.

Regional District Fire and Inspection Services Manager Dan Wildeman says, “Over the past few months as Interim Chief, Doug has displayed a combination of excellent performance and management of the paid-on-call department and along with the continued support of his leadership by the Officers and members of North Westside Fire Rescue, we’re pleased to confirm he’s accepted an offer to serve full-time in the Fire Chief’s position. Doug has 27 years of experience as a professional firefighter and superior credentials as he retired as the Assistant Chief in charge of Training for the Saanich Fire Department. He also has experience in marine rescue and has worked during his career with paid-on-call fire departments.”

North Westside Fire Rescue is one of four paid-on-call fire departments of the Regional District which also provides medical first response and fire protection services for the Ellison and Joe Rich Fire Service Areas and fire protection for the Wilson’s Landing Fire Protection Area.

Contact:
Bruce Smith
Communications Officer
250-469-6339

Blue Divider Line

North Westside gets new fire chief
Castanet.net - by Wayne Moore - Kelowna - Story: 103581 - Nov 27, 2013

The Regional District didn’t have to look far to find a new full-time Chief for the North Westside Fire Protection Service Area.

Effective Dec 1, Doug Gardiner takes on the full-time management position for the paid-on-call fire department.



Photo: Contributed - Regional District

New North Westside Fire Chief, Doug Gardiner

The team provides fire protection and medical first response to residents living in the communities of Killiney Beach, Westshore Estates, Fintry Delta, Valley of the Sun and La Casa resort along the north end of Westside Road within the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area.

Gardiner has been acting as the department’s Interim Chief since early August.

Regional District Fire and Inspection Services Manager Dan Wildeman says Gardiner has displayed a combination of excellent performance and management of the paid-on-call department since taking over as Interim Chief.

"Along with the continued support of his leadership by the Officers and members of North Westside Fire Rescue, we’re pleased to confirm he’s accepted an offer to serve full-time in the Fire Chief’s position," says Wildeman.

"Doug has 27 years of experience as a professional firefighter and superior credentials as he retired as the Assistant Chief in charge of Training for the Saanich Fire Department. He also has experience in marine rescue and has worked during his career with paid-on-call fire departments.”

North Westside Fire Rescue is one of four paid-on-call fire departments of the Regional District which also provides medical first response and fire protection services for the Ellison and Joe Rich Fire Service Areas and fire protection for the Wilson’s Landing Fire Protection Area.

Blue Divider Line

NEWS RELEASE

September 27, 2013

Open Burning Season Begins in the Central Okanagan

For the first time since the fall of 2010, open burning season in the Central Okanagan will begin as it normally does on October 1st. During the past two years, dry conditions caused a delay in the start of open burning for those eligible property owners.

Under Regional District and local fire bylaws, permitted open burning may start October 1st and must be complete by April 30th. Fire chiefs may however change the dates depending on the fire hazard in their area.

Starting Tuesday, October 1st, those people with properties greater than one hectare will be allowed to burn outdoors, but only after receiving a permit from their local fire authority and only after confirming that burning is allowed on a particular day. Farmers and large lot owners must also follow any regulations before lighting any fire.

Eligible property owners within the Central Okanagan East or the Central Okanagan West electoral areas may obtain a permit by calling the Regional District at 250-469-6223 (Long Distance Collect Calls are accepted) weekdays only between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, excluding holidays. All other eligible property owners must obtain a permit from their municipal fire department.

Before lighting any fire, eligible property owners with a valid permit must call the toll-free Outdoor Burning Hotline: 1-855-262-2876 (BURN). It will tell them if open burning is allowed on a particular day. Both the Venting and Air Quality must be good in order for burning to occur within Central Okanagan fire jurisdictions. This information is also available each day after 7:15 am at regionaldistrict.com/airquality.

Under the Regional District Smoke Control Bylaw, creating nuisance smoke from open burning is not allowed in the City of Kelowna, the District of Lake Country, District of West Kelowna and the Central Okanagan East and West Electoral Areas or under the bylaws of the District of Peachland.

Violators could receive a fine or be charged with the cost of putting out the fire. Residents are encouraged to report anyone illegally burning on a non-burning day by calling the Regional Fire Dispatch Center at 250-469-8577.

All Central Okanagan property owners regardless of property size are encouraged to take advantage of other options to dispose of their yard waste. The bi-weekly curbside yard waste collection program is underway through the end of November and residents are reminded to only place leaves, grass, pine needles and small prunings inside their wheeled yard waste cart with the green lid closed. Residents may also choose to use the year-round free yard waste program at either the Glenmore landfill (Open seven days a week 7:30 am to 4:45 pm) or at the Westside Residential Waste Disposal Centre (Open 7:30 am to 4:00 pm Friday through Monday). Yard waste and pruning’s weighing up to 250 kilograms (550 pounds) and 20 centimeters or less in diameter may be dropped off for free at either location. When transporting loads for disposal, please make sure they are covered. As long as yard waste is separated from regular garbage, loads exceeding the maximum weight up to 20 centimeters in diameter will be charged $40.00 per tonne while those with a larger diameter will be charged $65 a tonne. As well, a number of private companies offer wood chipping and grinding services or rent portable chippers. Some may also pick up yard waste for disposal.

Most of the burning permits that are issued in the Central Okanagan are for agricultural burning, which is allowed under Provincial Right to Farm legislation. However, before starting any fire farmers must also call 1-855-262-2876 (BURN) or visit regionaldistrict.com/airquality to ensure burning is allowed. The Regional Air Quality Program is working with farmers to encourage the use of the Agricultural Chipping Program as an alternate disposal method.


Contact:
Bruce Smith
Communications Officer
250-469-6339



Fire Department Jurisdictions for Permits

• Central Okanagan East or Central Okanagan West Electoral Areas
(Ellison, Joe Rich, Wilson’s Landing, North Westside residents):

o Call the Regional District (250-469-6223 weekdays only 8:00 am – 4:00 pm excluding holidays)
o Note: North Westside residents may call ‘Collect’ or avoid long distance charges by using a cellular phone. They may also contact North Westside Fire/Rescue at 250-545-1195 to obtain a permit.

• City of Kelowna residents contact - Kelowna Fire Department 250-469-8801

• Lake Country residents contact - Lake Country Fire Department 250-766-2327

• Peachland residents contact - Peachland Fire Rescue Service 250-767-2841

• West Kelowna residents contact – West Kelowna Fire/Rescue 250-769-1640
o All West Kelowna municipal burning permits are issued from Lakeview Station 32, 2708 Olalla Road

Source: Email from RDCO

Blue Divider Line

This is off the NWFR website

Open Burning - A permit is required for all open burns (except campfires - see campfires above for definition) conducted within the Regional District of the Central Okanagan and to be used on a day that meets a minimum standard of air quality and venting. This includes our North Westside Fire Protection District. All fires larger than the 1x1 M size (campfire) require a minimum of 1 hectare or 2.4 acres to qualify for a Permit. Material such as weeds, grass clippings, leaves, needles and cones etc. should never be burned they just cause smoke. This type of material should be bagged and taken to the chip-it bin at the transfer site, there is no charge and it will be disposed of without smoking out your neighbors. The venting index and air quality information required to burn is now available on the new RDCO BURNING INFORMATION HOT-LINE 1-855-262-2876. The minimum allowable venting index is 65 or greater and air quality must be 25 or less. Check the fire department web page www.nwfr.ca or call the hall (545-1195) for more details. You may not burn yard waste in a small fire and call it a campfire as soon as you add yard waste it becomes an open burn and not a campfire and is subject a fine under both the Smoke Control Bylaw 773 and the Fire Prevention Bylaw 1066. As well as the fine you may also be assessed costs for the fire department response at $450.00 per hour per apparatus as explained on the Permit. THERE IS NO COST FOR A PERMIT.

RDCO Bylaws

Blue Divider Line

Edgson avoids fire hall debate
By Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star - July 21, 2013

A North Westside official insists he is not getting in the middle of a conflict at the fire hall.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan has hired an interim fire chief because longtime chief Wayne Carson is on leave.

“How this came about is between Wayne Carson and regional district management and it’s a personnel matter,” said director Jim Edgson, adding that elected officials do not get involved in staffing issues.

RDCO has stated Carson requested a leave of absence while Carson has stated that’s not the case. No reasons for the leave have been provided.

Carson, who has been chief for 19 years, was suspended by the regional district for three days in June. The details for the suspension have also never been made public.

Carson believes he will return as chief but he is not sure when that may occur.

Doug Gardiner, a retired assistant chief with Saanich for 27 years, has been named North Westside’s interim chief.

“I am very happy an experienced person is coming in at this difficult time,” said Edgson.

“My only concern is always the safety of the community and that this fire department continues to do an excellent job.”

When asked if the situation with Carson can be resolved, Edgson said, “Both the regional district and I hope for that.”

Blue Divider Line

North Westside chief disputes absence
By Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star - July 19, 2013

Uncertainty continues to swirl around the North Westside Fire Department.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan says longtime chief Wayne Carson has requested a leave of absence but Carson disagrees with that description of the situation.

“The word ‘requested’ wasn’t mine. I did not request a leave,” he said.

Carson, who has been chief for 19 years, was suspended by the regional district for three days in June. The details for the suspension have never been made public.

While he was back on duty after the suspension, Carson says his leave began July 8.

“I wish I could tell the community everything,” he said.

“There are some issues going on in the fire department and I hope we can find a solution that is best for the department and the community.”

When asked about his future, Carson says, “As far as I know, I will be returning but I don’t have a date on it.”

RDCO has announced that in Carson’s absence, Doug Gardiner has been named interim chief.

Gardiner is a retired assistant chief and training officer, who served in Saanich for 27 years.

“Dedicated members of North Westside Fire Rescue continue to assist their neighbours by answering calls for medical first response and fire emergencies,” said Dan Wildeman, RDCO’s fire services manager.

“This temporary placement will ensure going into this potentially busy summer fire season that an experienced professional is in place to provide the leadership, training and mentoring for those dedicated paid-on-call fire department members who are committed to serving their community.”

Wildeman says senior officers with the department suggested that a retired professional chief be considered for this temporary role to ensure community safety and management.

RDCO has stated that any questions about Carson are confidential because they deal with personnel matters.

A deputy chief and training officer resigned after Carson was suspended.

The president of the North Westside Ratepayers Association is not concerned about the situation at the fire department.

“We have to have trust in our new fire services manager,” said Diane Baldwin.

“They (RDCO) have come in and made some changes.”

Blue Divider Line

Interim chief for North Westside fire
Castanet.net - by Wayne Moore - Kelowna - Story: 95220 - Jul 17, 2013

A new interim Fire Chief has been named by the Regional District of Central Okanagan to serve residents in the North Westside Fire Protection District.

Effective August 2, 2013, Doug Gardiner will, on a temporary basis, take over the chief’s duties for the paid on-call department serving the communities of Killiney Beach, Westshore Estates, Fintry Delta, Valley of the Sun and La Casa Resort.

This interim appointment is needed to provide coverage during a leave of absence that was requested by and approved for Chief Wayne Carson.

Gardiner is a retired Assistant Chief Training Officer having served 27 years with the Saanich Fire Department.

He has extensive credentials as a professional firefighter, is experienced with Marine Rescue and has worked during his lengthy career with paid-on-call fire departments.

“We want all residents of the fire district to know that the safety and needs of their community are paramount," says Regional District Fire and Inspection Services Manager Dan Wildeman.

"Dedicated members of North Westside Fire Rescue continue to assist their neighbours by answering calls for medical first response and fire emergencies.”

Wildeman adds, “This temporary placement will ensure going into this potentially busy summer fire season that an experienced professional is in place to provide the leadership, training and mentoring for those dedicated paid-on-call fire department members who are committed to serving their community.”

Senior officers with the department suggested that a retired professional fire chief be considered for this temporary role to ensure community safety and management of the fire department.

No reason was given for Carson's request for a leave of absence.

Blue Divider Line

Interim chief at North Westside fire hall
By Staff Writer - Vernon Morning Star - July 18, 2013

A new interim fire chief has been named by the Regional District of Central Okanagan to serve residents in the North Westside Road area.

Effective Aug. 2, 2013, Doug Gardiner will, on a temporary basis, take over the chief’s duties after a leave of absence was requested by chief Wayne Carson.

Carson, who has been chief for 19 years, was suspended by the regional district for three days in June. The details for the suspension have never been made public.

Gardiner is a retired assistant chief training officer who served 27 years with the Saanich Fire Department.

Look for more details in Friday's Morning Star.

Blue Divider Line

North Westside Fire Rescue Receives New Trucks

This weekend will be a busy one for members of the North Westside Fire Rescue Department.

Officers and fire-fighters will be spending time Saturday and Sunday getting to know and training on the department’s two new engine trucks.

The trucks, valued at more than $300,000 each, were purchased through the Regional District after an extensive Request for Proposal process which saw Winnipeg-based Fort Garry Fire Trucks awarded the contract, providing the best overall value for ratepayers within the fire department service area and quality of specialized fire protection vehicles.

Regional District Fire and Inspection Services Manager Dan Wildeman says “One truck will be located at the main Station 101 hall off Udell Road while the other will be housed at the Short’s Creek Station 102 hall. The new engines will help the fire district maintain its fire underwriters dwelling protection standard benefitting homeowners.”

Fire Chief Wayne Carson adds, “The new engines will fit in well with the department’s existing apparatus and will serve the first responder and fire protection needs of the community for the next 20 years. Some of the new features offered on the engines include a front bumper mounted monitor that allows water to be directed while the vehicle is moving and an automatic built-in foam tank that allows fire suppressing foam to be applied with water. There’s also a one inch fast attack hose mounted on the truck for a quick response to small fires.”

The trucks are equipped with four wheel drive and instant chains providing optimum traction in various road conditions and come with a 1,050 gallon per minute pump.

The two engines were acquired without the need for financing as property owners within the North Westside Fire Protection District approved a referendum in 2005 for a parcel tax of $50 a year over five years, in order to build reserve funds for purchasing fire equipment.

(May 2, 2013)

Source: RDCO Whats New

Blue Divider Line

*Note* this is only a snippet, click the link below for entire content

WCAT-2008-03642 (Re), 2008 CanLII 73901 (BC WCAT)
Date: 2008-12-03
Docket: WCAT-2008-03642
URL: http://canlii.ca/t/22lpx
Citation: WCAT-2008-03642 (Re), 2008 CanLII 73901 (BC WCAT), <http://canlii.ca/t/22lpx> retrieved on 2013-03-20

[44] WCAT Decisions #2006-02800 and #2006-02801 (Derickson v. Regional District of the Central Okanagan), concerned a plaintiff who was injured while working under the label of a “volunteer.” However, he received regular payments based on the number of hours he worked. Although the plaintiff considered himself a “volunteer” who received the payments of “gifts,” the WCAT decision found that the operational routines of the relationship, by which the amount of the “gifts” was determined by reference to a
number of hours of labouring work contributed by the plaintiff at the rate of $12.00 per hour over the course of two months, supported the conclusion that there was an employment relationship and the plaintiff was a worker.

Blue Divider Line

Findlater on fire over fuel accumulation
Castanet.net - by Wayne Moore - Story: 81068 - Sep 27, 2012

A motion put forward by the District of West Kelowna was passed Thursday morning at the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) convention in Victoria.

The resolution seeks a province-wide wildfire protection program for both public and private lands.

It reads:

WHEREAS the Province of British Columbia continues to experience wildfires due to effective fire suppression activities, drying weather trends and mountain pine beetle infestations on Crown, Public and Private lands.

AND WHEREAS the Province of British Columbia government
•commissioned the “Firestorm 2003 Report” (Filmon Report) to provide recommendations to prevent future wildfire events;
•and, provides limited funding for local governments to implement Community Wildfire Protection Plans on Crown and Public lands;
•does not provide funding for or require fuel mitigation works to be conducted on private lands leaving such regulation to individual local governments to establish, enforce and assume the liability associated with those programs:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Union of BC Municipalities lobby the Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations to enact provincial standards to ensure a province-wide comprehensive wildfire protection and works program is established, funded, executed and enforced for both private and public lands beginning with those lands at highest risk and immediately adjacent to residential areas.

“The problem communities are facing with forest fuel accumulation is simply not manageable at the local level,” says Mayor Doug Findlater.

"We don’t have close to the funding or resources that is needed to regulate private lands in this matter. The UBCM membership agreed, the province needs to take this concern in hand.”

Blue Divider Line

Kelowna Fire Department's first medical response policy saves lives
By Kathy Michaels - Kelowna Capital News - June 12, 2012

Concerns over the cost and efficiency of a system that sends Kelowna Fire Department to medical emergencies ahead of the ambulance service, were largely laid to rest Monday afternoon.

"I have here five situations that we pulled from our records in 2011, where we used an automated external defibrillator," said fire chief Jeffrey Carlisle, during Monday's city council meeting.

"(Patients) didn't have pulse when we arrived, but they did when we passed them over (to the ambulance.)"

Although those five lives were a compelling testimonial about the success of the system, council was also swayed by another number.

Having fire trucks dispatched to medical emergencies, like respiratory problems, bleeding or cardiac arrest on a discretionary basis, rings in at a bargain basement cost of $64,500 a year.

That covers off wear and tear of fire trucks, medical supplies and training.

Overall, Carlisle said it shows the first medical response program is of "high public value and low public cost."

Coun. Gerry Zimmermann went one step further, saying he thought it was one of the "most valuable services" the city offered.

"If you're out in the Mission, your chance of getting a fire truck before an ambulance is just about 100 per cent." he said.

"The service is very valuable, but what I question is the financing and the administration of it."

Zimmermann explained that medical response services are supposed to be funded by the province, but there are no dollars directed to the local program from that branch of government.

"It's the right thing to do but there are discussions we need to have in the future," he said.

It may also make sense to see the administrative duties of fire and ambulance one day amalgamate, he said.

Blue Divider Line

A round table for Mayors
Castanet.net - by Grant Scott - Story: 74400 - Apr 27, 2012

The four member municipalities of the Inter-Municipal Services Advisory Board - Kelowna, West Kelowna, Vernon and Penticton - are continuing their work on common municipal issues including transit governance, the Okanagan Basin Water Board and environmental permitting.

The board is made up of the four municipal mayors and chief administrative officers.

On Friday, April 20, Kelowna Mayor Walter Gray, Vernon Mayor Robert Sawatzky, West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater and Penticton Mayor Dan Ashton met to plan ahead for the rest of 2012.

“By continuing to work together, the four municipalities are able to address areas of mutual concern, which will be a benefit to all the citizens of the Okanagan Valley,” says Penticton Mayor Dan Ashton.

In the past, that has included agreement on a common Safe Premises bylaw to handle properties found to be cultivating illegal drugs, the launching a Bylaw Dispute Adjudication System and lobbying for continued support of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of the RCMP, dedicated to organized crime activity.

This time around, the group discussed partnership opportunities with BC Transit, which is considering implementing a three-person panel to work with municipalities on planning.

The Mayors agreed that larger centres would like to work in tandem with its provincial transit partner, making the panel available to assist smaller centres with planning.

The group also noted it is looking forward to the Okanagan Basin Water Board’s strategic planning session scheduled for early June, and would call on municipal peers at the coming Southern Interior Local Government Association (SILGA) convention in Revelstoke to offer the OBWB suggestions and recommendations for consideration during its planning process.

Penticton Mayor Dan Ashton also broached the topic of environmental permitting issues relating to the reconstruction of streamside infrastructure, such as dike systems.

The City of Penticton will take the lead on the matter, writing a letter to senior government to review the lengthy and often costly process required before municipalities are able to conduct needed repairs.

Mayors Gray, Sawatzky, Findlater and Ashton signed two joint letters at the meeting: one to Premier Christy Clark seeking funding support for private landowners for forest fire mitigation and the other to the Union of BC Municipalities seeking a change in how funds are allocated under the Gas Tax Agreement.

Ongoing concerns that impact all member municipalities were also discussed, including enforcement of lakeshore zoning regulations and the RCMP policing agreement.

Inter-Municipal Services Advisory Board meetings are held quarterly and alternate between municipalities. The four mayors represent more than 80 per cent of the Okanagan’s population.

Blue Divider Line

Emergency website gets dry run
Castanet.net - by Wayne Moore - Story: 74436 - Apr 27, 2012

Central Okanagan Emergency Operations
Photo: Contributed

This week's flood emergency in West Kelowna accentuated just how important it is to get information out to the media and the general public as quickly as possible.

It also gave the Regional District's Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) a chance to give its new Emergency Operations website a dry run.

The EOC had intended to unveil the new website next week in advance of Emergency Preparedness Week (May 6 to 12), however, Regional District Communications Coordinator, Bruce Smith, says when the EOC was activated, they decided to launch the online site.

"The website (www.cordemergency.ca) is just another tool in our tool kit for getting accurate and factual information directly to our residents in addition to traditional means of utilizing the assistance of the media to get the word out whenever we have an emergency response underway," says Smith.

Smith says the website came as a result of de-briefings the EOC team holds after every emergency situation.

"It's been identified over the last number of years that we need to improve our communication flow and information flow from the EOC directly to residents of the Central Okanagan -- wherever they might be," says Smith.

"We field calls from people, property owners and homeowners from all over the world whenever there has been an emergency because people are not always at home and they want to know what's going on. Our media does a superb job of getting the information out, but we're in a technological age here where we can also send the information directly from our website."

The website will allow residents and non-residents alike the opportunity to get instant information on emergencies such as floods, wildfires or interface fires by clicking on the 'Subscribe to Emergency Notifications' link on the right side of the front page.

Along with providing up to date information on the status of emergencies and evacuations, the website also provides information on the EOC and a 'Be Prepared' tab that includes information and links to help people prepare themselves in advance of any emergency situation.

Blue Divider Line

Open burning leads to wildfire warning
Castanet.net by Wayne Moore - Story: 73848 - Apr 13, 2012

Officials with the Kamloops Fire Centre are urging people take more care while open burning.

Wildlife Management Branch personnel and municipal fire crews have responded to several wildland fire incidents during the first two weeks of April as a result of poorly planned open burning.

More than 100 hectares of land have burned, a high level of activity for this time of year.

Officials with the Wildfire Management Branch say that, while open burning is sometimes necessary to manage vegetation and fuel levels which can mitigate the spread of future wildfires, such fires should be carefully planned and safeguards put in place before they are ignited.

Several precautions should always be taken, including:
• Check with the Wildfire Management Branch, local government and civil authorities for any current burning bylaws or fire restrictions.
• Create a fireguard at least one metre around the planned fire site by clearing away twigs, grass, leaves and other combustible material.
• Don’t let the spread of the fire dictate how big it becomes. Determine the fire’s size and perimeter before you begin burning.
• Avoid large concentrations of fuel in a small area by making sure that the materials you’re burning are spread out evenly.
• If you are planning a large burn, consider conducting smaller burns around the perimeter beforehand to create a fuel break and help stop the fire from spreading beyond its intended size. Each of these fires should be kept small and must be completely extinguished before starting a new fire.
• Do not burn during windy conditions. Weather conditions can change quickly and carry embers to other combustible material and start new fires.
• Never leave a fire unattended.
• Ensure that enough people, water and tools are on hand to control the fire and prevent it from escaping.
• A fire should not be lit near buildings, trees or other combustible material.
• If conducting an open burn near fence posts, power poles or other infrastructure, first remove any flammable material from around the posts and burn a small strip around them before igniting the main fire.
• Make sure that your fire is completely extinguished and the embers are cold before you leave the area.

Anyone planning large-scale industrial burn (Category 3) must call 1 888 797-1717 and obtain a burn registration number ahead of time. More information is available at: http://bcwildfire.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/Bans.asp

Burning should not take place if local air flow will cause the smoke to negatively affect nearby communities or residences.

Blue Divider Line

.pdf icon February 17, 2012 Regional District of Central Okanagan Governance and Services Committee Meeting Agenda

.pdf icon Item 1 Budget Presentation.pdf

.pdf icon Item 1a Budget Piechart.pdf

.pdf icon Item 1b Budget Summaries.pdf

.pdf icon Item 1c Tax Requisitions and Rates.pdf

.pdf icon Item 2 Financial Plan Contents.pdf

.pdf icon Item 2a Environmental Services - Engineering.pdf

.pdf icon Item 2b Environmental Services - Waste Management.pdf

.pdf icon Item 3a Development Services - Planning.pdf

.pdf icon Item 3b Development Services - Protection Services.pdf

GENERAL CAPITAL FUND 2012 ANNUAL BUDGET EXPENDITURE North Westside Volunteer Fire/Rescue = $901,081

GENERAL REVENUE FUND 2012 ANNUAL BUDGET EXPENDITURE SUMMARY North Westside Volunteer Fire/Rescue = $482,081

.pdf icon Item 3c Development Services - Inspection Services.pdf

.pdf icon Item 4 Parks Services.pdf

.pdf icon Item 5 Finance and Administration.pdf

.pdf icon Item 6 Corporate Services.pdf

.pdf icon Item 6a Corporate Services - Policing Liaison Services.pdf

.pdf icon Item 7 Economic Development Commission.pdf

.pdf icon Item 8 Regional Board.pdf

-------------------------------

.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio February 17, 2012 audio of entire RDCO Governance and Services Committee meeting - .mp3 (501 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files February 17, 2012 audio of RDCO Governance and Services Committee meeting only about 911, Crime Stoppers - .wma (4.68 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files February 17, 2012 audio of RDCO Governance and Services Committee meeting only about Fire Dept Report - .wma (141 KB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files February 17, 2012 audio of RDCO Governance and Services Committee meeting only about Fire Rescue - .wma (9.55 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files February 17, 2012 audio of RDCO Governance and Services Committee meeting only about JB Mac Pool, Westside Rec, Fire - .wma (182 KB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files February 17, 2012 audio of RDCO Governance and Services Committee meeting only about Regional Rescue Report - .wma (246 KB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files February 17, 2012 audio of RDCO Governance and Services Committee meeting only about Regional Rescue Delegate - .wma (14.9 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files February 17, 2012 audio of RDCO Governance and Services Committee meeting only about Search Rescue Delegate - .wma (11.6 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files February 17, 2012 audio of RDCO Governance and Services Committee meeting only about Joe Rich Fire - .wma (126 KB)

.pdf icon February 17, 2012 Regional District of Central Okanagan Governance and Services Committee Meeting Minutes

Minutes of the Regional District of Central Okanagan Governance and Services Committee Meetings are not usually available until after being adopted at the following meeting.  If the minutes are not published here yet, you can check RDCO's website to see if they are published there yet.

Blue Divider Line

DWK unveil state of the art fire truck
Castanet.net - by Wayne Moore - Story: 68784 - Dec 20, 2011

A brand new fire truck is rolling through the streets of West Kelowna.

Asst. Chief Darren Lee, Mayor Doug Findlater and Chief Wayne Schnitzler officially welcome West Kelowna's newest fire truck

The municipality unveiled the new $620,000 fire fighting tool Tuesday afternoon.

It will drive out of Hall 31 on Old Okanagan Highway, the busiest of the four halls in West Kelowna.

The truck is a Compressed Air Foam System Equipped Fire Engine built by Smeal out of Snyder, Nebraska.

The new engine includes:
• Rate of 1,500 imperial gallons per minute
• Waterous Compressed Air Foam System
• 500 gallon water tank
• 50 gallon foam tank
• 2,000 feet of fire host in various diameters
• 3 ground ladders
• Thermal Imaging Camera
• 4-Gas detector

Assistant Fire Chief, Darren Lee, says there are several advantages to the new engine.

"Our department is really invested in Compressed Air Foam technology so we are continuing that investment. It helps us to be, we think, more effective at structure fires and also really gives us a big advantage with urban interface and wildland type fires," says Lee.

"It also has a host of new safety features. The back end is striped really bright, so hopefully it will be easier for people to see on the highway. As nerdy as it sounds emergency lighting has come a long way in the last few years and now you're seeing things like Super LEDs."

West Kelowna approved purchase of the new pumper truck back in July of 2010.

The new engine replaces a 20-year-old truck which has exceeded its service life and is being taken out of service.

Lee adds that trucks do cycle through the system. To make room for this new engine, another truck is being moved to Lakeview Heights, while a truck there will move up to Glenrosa.

West Kelowna Mayor, Doug Findlater, says the municipality has a fleet replacement policy that looks at both the age and the condition of the vehicle.

"We do have to keep up with the population growth and the standards," says Findlater.

"We're an area where fire is not unknown and, I'm not just talking about structure fires. If this winter keeps going the way it is, as dry as it's shaping up to be then all bets are off again next summer."

Findlater says the municipality will be well equipped to handle those situations if they do arise.

Blue Divider Line

Dec. 5, 2011 North Westside Road Fire Chief told us this:

North Westside Fire/Rescue is in the process of developing an engine spec for this community and hopes to present a request for tenders to the Regional Board for approval in the very near future.

Blue Divider Line

RDCO board highlights
by Castanet Staff - Story: 67160 - Nov 10, 2011

The following are highlights from the Regional District of Central Okanagan board meeting held Thursday, November 10, 2011.

Westside Road Development Rezoning - The Regional Board has adopted a Zoning Amendment Bylaw for South Okanagan Land Developments Incorporated for its proposed ‘Rockchild Landing’ development. The rezoning approval comes after the applicant registered a legal covenant on the approximately 127-hectare property adjacent to Westside Road, restricting any building, construction and site disturbance until letters of credit are provided to the Regional District. The development proposal calls for a 43-lot residential subdivision along with a dedication of approximately 88-hectares to the Regional District for parklands.

Regional Parks Fire Fuel Modification Project - The Regional Board has approved two contracts for fire fuel hazard modification projects in two regional parks. Nine companies responded to the tendering process and after review, Landmark Forest Management Limited was recommended as the most cost effective and experienced for the proposed work on 50-hectares in Rose Valley Regional Park and 10-hectares in Glen Canyon Regional Park. The contract for Rose Valley is worth $303,710.40 and in Glen Canyon the contract is valued at $74,872. Funding for both projects is being provided through a grant from the Union of BC Municipalities Strategic Wildfire Prevention Initiative. It is anticipated work will begin later in the month. As needed, collected debris in Rose Valley Regional Park will be chipped or burned only when air quality and venting conditions permit and with approval and permits from West Kelowna Fire Rescue. In Glen Canyon, only non-merchantable materials will be chipped and removed from the site or burned when conditions allow. Merchantable timber from this site will be stockpiled for sale by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

Air Curtain Burner Sale Approved - The Regional Board has approved the sale of the Regional District Air Curtain Burner to Stone Pacific Contracting Group for $23,250 plus HST. Since it was purchased in 2006 to assist with fuel disposal from the pine beetle outbreak, the unit has seen limited use by the region and member municipalities due to the small scale size of forest fuel and pine beetle mitigation projects and disposal options such as the sale of merchantable timber or wood chips. The Regional District originally paid about $95,000 for the Air Curtain Burner three years ago.

Air Quality Program Funding - The Regional Board has adopted allocating some existing funds from the Regional Air Quality Program to launch a Neighbourhood Trip Planning pilot project. Just over $32,000 in unused funding will be utilized to help develop and test the pilot project which is designed to reduce single occupancy vehicles and boost levels of active transportation. While the pilot project is planned for Kelowna, it is intended the Neighbourhood Trip Planning program would be available throughout all areas of the Central Okanagan.

Blue Divider Line

Open burning starts October 15th, 2011 and ends April 30, 2012

Oct. 15, 2011 new toll-free Outdoor Burning Hotline: 1-855-262-2876

October 2011 Open Burning Information Sheet

Blue Divider Line

North Westside Fire Rescue Mobile Marine Water Supply

Flyer that came in the mailbox approx. Nov 6, 2011


click for a larger copy

Blue Divider Line

We would like to see the word VOLUNTEER removed from Fire Depts. to instead call them Paid On Call Fire Depts because the volunteers are not really volunteers, they are on call Fire Fighters who are paid for the duties they perform.

It is like false advertising, saying they are volunteers.

Blue Divider Line

The Provincial Volunteer Firefighters’ Association of BC

In case of fire, exit building before tweeting about it!

Blue Divider Line

2005 Jim Edgson who was not a Director until 2007, and North Westside Road Fire Chief Wayne Carson wanted seized Grow Op Generators

Blue Divider Line

Clearing forest fire 'fuel'
by Castanet Staff - Story: 65840 - Oct 11, 2011

The last of Crown and municipal properties in the District of West Kelowna are being cleared of forest fire fuels.

Photo: Kelly Hayes - Castanet File Photo

Beginning this week, publicly owned lands will be cleared in Glenrosa and Rose Valley. Other property, on Corine road as well as behind the School District works yard, will also be cleared of debris.

The wood waste will be chipped during daylight hours, because open burning is not permitted in the municipality prior to October 15.

The work is being done in addition to 10 other properties that were cleared in the spring, thanks to a $209,175 grant provided through the Union of B.C. Municipalities’ Operational Fuel Management Program.

Fire Chief Wayne Schnitzler says the work on Crown and municipally owned land has made West Kelowna safer from the threat of forest fire, but the mitigation effort on publicly owned land is only one component of wildfire prevention.

“We must now continue to encourage private land owners to help in these efforts by keeping their own properties clear of forest fire debris,” says Schnitzler.

“The fire department is able to come out to homes in West Kelowna and conduct assessments that will help residents prioritise the work that can be done to guard their properties against forest fire.”

Property owners can call 250-769-1640 extension 5 to schedule an assessment, which will assist in prioritising forest fuel mitigation work, particularly on larger properties. Helpful information is also available online.

The Homeowner’s Fire Smart Manual can be downloaded from the municipality’s website at www.districtofwestkelowna.ca under Our Community/Wildfire Risk Reduction.

Efforts to reduce wildfire risk in the District of West Kelowna were stepped up in the spring of 2009, following the release of a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP), which was completed by Davies Wildfire Management.

Staff began working with the consulting firm to identify means of funding the mitigation efforts, including making applications to several provincial and federal funding programs available to municipalities.

In 2009 West Kelowna received $98,500 under the federal Mountain Pine Beetle Program to begin mitigation work. In February 2010, the UBCM gave $70,340 to the municipality to continue efforts.

In September 2010, a second UBCM grant of $209,175 enabled West Kelowna to complete mitigation efforts on Crown and municipally owned land. Work began in the spring on 10 properties:

• Crown land at the end of Webber Road
• Black Canyon Park on Sandberg Road
• Rock Ridge Park off Griffiths Place Road
• Two locations within Casa Palmero Park
• Falkner Creek Park off Horizon Drive
• Shannon Highlands Park on Shannon Lake Road
• Crown land near the head of Rose Valley Reservoir
• Horizon Park on Horizon Drive.

After the work on Glenrosa, Rose Valley and Corine Roads is completed this month, only one piece of public property that was identified in the 2009 CWPP remains to be cleared.

The Crown land is located on the northern slopes of Mount Boucherie above Trevor Drive.

Plans are in the works to use the location as an ongoing training exercise for forest fire crews. The training may occur this fall or possibly over winter, when there is no risk of forest fire.

Blue Divider Line

New Open Burning Phone Number starting October 15th, 2011

The continued moderate to high fire hazard means a later start for those eligible to conduct open burning. Central Okanagan fire chiefs have decided to begin issuing permits for open burning starting October 15th.

When the season begins in the Central Okanagan, there will be a new twist.

Before lighting any fire, eligible property owners with a valid permit must call a new toll-free Outdoor Burning Hotline: 1-855-262-2876 . It will tell them if open burning is allowed on a particular day. Both the Venting and Air Quality must be good in order for burning to occur within Central Okanagan fire jurisdictions.

Under the Regional District Smoke Control Bylaw, creating nuisance smoke from open burning is not allowed in the City of Kelowna, the District of Lake Country, District of West Kelowna and the Central Okanagan East and West Electoral Areas or under the bylaws of the District of Peachland.

Violators could receive a fine or be charged with the cost of putting out the fire. Residents are encouraged to report anyone illegally burning on a non-burning day by calling the Fire Department Dispatch Center at 250-469-8577.

Fire authorities throughout the region will begin issuing permits effective October 15th for those property owners that qualify to burn yard waste outdoors. Under Regional District and local fire bylaws, permitted open burning must be complete by April 30th. Fire chiefs may however change the date depending on the fire hazard in their area.

Starting October 15th, those people with properties greater than one hectare will be allowed to burn outdoors, but only after receiving a permit from their local fire authority (Fire Jurisdictions) and only after calling the Outdoor Burning Hotline to confirm both air and venting conditions are favourable. Farmers and large lot owners must also follow any regulations before lighting any fire.

Eligible property owners within the Central Okanagan East or the Central Okanagan West electoral areas may obtain a permit by calling the Regional District at 250-469-6223 (Long Distance Collect Calls are accepted) weekdays only between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, excluding holidays. All other eligible property owners must obtain a permit from their municipal fire department.

All Central Okanagan property owners regardless of property size are encouraged to take advantage of other options to dispose of their yard waste. The bi-weekly curbside yard waste collection program is underway through the end of November and residents are reminded to only place leaves, grass, pine needles and small prunings inside their wheeled yard waste cart with the green lid closed. Residents may also choose to use the year-round free yard waste program at either the Glenmore landfill (Open seven days a week 7:30 am to 4:45 pm) or at the Westside Residential Waste Disposal Centre (Open 7:30 am to 4:00 pm Friday through Monday). Yard waste and pruning’s weighing up to 250 kilograms (550 pounds) and 20 centimetres or less in diameter may be dropped off for free at either location. When transporting loads for disposal, please make sure they are covered. Loads exceeding the maximum weight will be charged $25.00 per ton ($40 as of January 1st, 2012) as long as the yard waste is separated from regular garbage. As well, a number of private companies offer wood chipping and grinding services or rent portable chippers. Some may also pick up yard waste for disposal.

Most of the burning permits that are issued in the Central Okanagan are for agricultural burning, which is allowed under Provincial Right to Farm legislation. However, farmers must also call the new Outdoor Burning Hotline to ensure burning is allowed before starting any fire. The Regional Air Quality Program is working with farmers to encourage the use of the Agricultural Chipping Program as an alternate disposal method.

(September 28, 2011)

Source:  Regional District of Central Okanagan What's New

Blue Divider Line

okanaganlakebc.ca had questions about burning without a permit.  Here is the question we asked the North Westside Road Fire Chief and his response.

When you catch someone burning without a permit or doing something else against the burning bylaw.. do you give them a warning ticket first, and a fine the second time or do you give out a fine first with no warning?

If you do both, what do you do more of, fines or warnings?

okanaganlakebc.ca

------- North Westside Road Fire Chief Wayne Carsons answer below --------------

Minor offences first time is usually a verbal warning depending on attitude and level of cooperation. On a first response to a complaint you will get a warning ticket and if smoke is the issue a RDCO Smoke Control Bylaw Information. Should I have to return for the same issue within the same operational period you will get a Municipal Ticket Information that carries a fine as well you can be billed for all suppression costs. Fire apparatus bills out at $450.00 per hour per apparatus so this is the “teeth” in the legislation. One truck for say two hours would produce a $900.00 bill that unlike the ticket is applied directly to your tax bill should you refuse to pay it with no formal dispute mechanism. Voluntary compliance occurs in 99.9% of the incidents. I have only had to write one ticket (and that just recently) in the 18 years covering literally hundreds of responses.

Blue Divider Line

Mayor concerned about EOC location
Castanet.net - by Wayne Moore - Story: 64416 - Sep 8, 2011

Photo: Contributed - Garet Tanner

West Kelowna Mayor, Doug Findlater is going to approach the Regional District about possible changes to the evacuation procedure in the Westside Road area.

Findlater made the comments following the evacuation of 550 people early Tuesday morning as a result of the Bear Creek fire.

"My concern was for those 600 or so people who, in the middle of the night, would have to drive north on Westside Road to O'Keefe Ranch, over to Vernon then down Highway 97 to Kelowna and then on to Westbank," says Findlater.

"That's a bit much. Given that only 150 of those people registered I'm concerned they had quite a journey to get to the evacuation centre that perhaps could be avoided another time."

The long trip was necessary because Westside Road had been closed southbound due to the fire.

During the Terrace Mountain Fire of 2009 an arrangement was made to host evacuees in Vernon.

"Maybe that has to become a standard contingency plan."

Findlater says he'll approach the Regional Board to see if it is interested in exploring that issue.

"They do have the equivalent of Emergency Social Service in Vernon so, could we rent the hall and have them handle the people on that end?"

Meantime, Findlater praised the work of the firefighters who responded quickly and had the fire under control in less than 24 hours.

"The fire was outside of our boundaries, it was in the Regional District and mostly in a regional park," adds Findlater.

"To that extent we weren't really that involved, but our firefighters were. They were the first major structural teams on the scene. The volunteers and forestry all did their job excellently, it was very well done."

Blue Divider Line

Firefighter wages spark taxpayer’s ire
Vernon Morning Star - By Richard Rolke - June 19, 2011

Expenses at Vernon’s fire hall have one taxpayer fuming.

Chub Down was the only resident to speak during Monday’s input session on the city’s 2010 annual report, and his main focus was that 26 firefighters earned more than $75,000 a year.

“How did they get out of line?” he said of wages.

“What is the reason to give anyone earning more than $75,000 a cost-of-living adjustment.”

Down also questioned why Vernon firefighters have wage parity with their Vancouver counterparts, but that policy was defended by the city.

“Every community except Prince Rupert has lost rulings on wage parity with Vancouver,” said Leon Gous, chief administrative officer.

The city unsuccessfully went through arbitration six times in the 1990s over wage parity.

“Do you spend money to challenge it on principle or do you work on other parts of the contract in an attempt to save money?” said Mayor Wayne Lippert.

Down also questioned why firefighters are providing a medical first responders program.

“You see the ambulance go out and five minutes later, the little red (fire) pickup goes out,” he said.

“Does anyone look at the operation and say we have too many people?”


But Lippert insists the first responders program has been valuable for residents in medical emergencies.

“We have had letters from people that the fire truck was there first and they appreciated the service,” he said.

Coun. Patrick Nicol says council puts a lot of thought into the budget process and the ability of taxpayers to pay, and staff requests for additional firefighters in Okanagan Landing have been denied.

“We have been vigilant with expansion,” he said.

In 2010, 66 city employees earned more than $75,000, with Gous being the highest at $172,456 (gross earnings, allowances and expenses).

In terms of council, Lippert topped the list at $74,035 in remuneration and expenses.

The top councillor was Buffy Baumbrough with $26,426 in wages and expenses, while the lowest were Bob Spiers and Patrick Nicol at $20,474 each.

They had no expenses.

Too bad the ambulance and First Responders didn't know what each are doing instead of both being sent to a scene.  Why is there no communication between the two?

Blue Divider Line

New fire truck features latest anti-idling technology
Kelowna Capital News - By Kathy Michaels - May 20, 2011

There’ll be no idle work for this fire truck.

The Kelowna Fire Department is the first in Canada to use a new fire engine that saves hundreds of litres of diesel fuel a year and reduces air pollution.

The new Rosenbauer fire truck was ordered with a system that allows fire crews to operate equipment powered by their truck, without needing to keep the truck idling to generate electricity.

This anti-idling technology uses a built-in 15-horsepower generator to run emergency lights and other electrical tools at non-fire emergencies without having to run the engine’s 485 horsepower motor.

“A fire engine can burn about four litres of fuel after an hour of idling,” said assistant fire chief Lou Wilde.

“The Green Star truck will use one litre of fuel while idling at non-fire emergencies, saving money and producing fewer harmful emissions.”

The truck’s main engine must run to pump water if it’s dousing a fire.

The installation of the anti-idling technology cost $7,000, which will be recovered in fuel savings within the first five to seven years. A typical fire engine will last 15 years.

“In addition to the fuel cost savings and the environmental advantages, the anti-idling technology reduces maintenance costs over the service life of the truck,” said Wilde.

“Because the engine is idling less often, the engine life is extended and things like the diesel particulate filter or air filters don’t need to be replaced as often.”

Some fire departments in the United States have started using Rosenbauer’s Green Star anti-idling technology. Wild says data and experience from those users convinced the KFD the $7,000 investment was worthwhile for economic and environmental reasons.

The fire department in Casper, Wyoming, has been measuring the anti-idling technology for more than a year. The department responded to 1,253 non-fire calls for service in 2010—slightly fewer than a typical year in Kelowna—and recorded a fuel savings of just under $2,000.

“This anti-idling technology is used on airplanes, ships and trains and it just made sense to adapt this for fire trucks, too,” said Darren Daviduck, of Rocky Mountain Phoenix, the Western Canada representative for Rosenbauer.

The City of Kelowna has an anti-idling policy for city vehicles, except for emergency vehicles.

Blue Divider Line

TAX CREDIT FOR VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS
From Vancouver Sun News Alert (so there is no link to this info)

The federal government recognized on Tuesday volunteer firefighters with a small budget measure allowing those who volunteer for at least 200 hours a year to claim a $3,000 annual tax credit beginning in 2011.

-------------------------------

The North Westside Road Fire Chief Wayne Carson said that would be if the budget passes which does not look good. This has been in Federal budgets before, but only when the budget in question is defeated.

Blue Divider Line

Fire training concerns flare up
Vernon Morning Star - By Roger Knox - February 12, 2011

Vernon’s threat to abandon the North Okanagan Regional District’s fire training centre has Spallumcheen’s mayor concerned about the impact to the township.

Will Hansma told his council that such a move by Vernon could severely impact the way the township does business as a fire department.

“We’ve always been supportive of the fire training centre,” said Hansma, a regional district director. “Our fire department has certainly benefitted from it, but we may have to consider other options. It’s a very valuable asset and I’d hate to see us lose it. Our fire department has been very well served by it.”

Armstrong Spallumcheen Fire Department chief Ian Cummings agreed the training centre has been very useful.

“Starting with our recruiting new firefighters, when we bring them on they go through the training course, teach them fire ground activities, fire behaviour, teach them how to be firefighters at a basic level,” said Cummings. “When they get on to the fire department, they can go out on calls and do it safely. It’s quite an intensive course. If we were to lose that it would set us back many years.”

Vernon has stated it will withdraw from the service because of the costs involved and because some courses aren’t certified.

In 2010, Armstrong and Spallumcheen paid $5,614 and $8,643, respectively, in tax requisition for the fire training centre.

Blue Divider Line

Training debate blazes on
Vernon Morning Star - By Richard Rolke - February 03, 2011

Some politicians aren’t pleased with the course of action to resolve a dispute over fire training.

The North Okanagan Regional District board has instructed staff to pursue a contract with the City of Vernon over the fire training centre, but the three city representatives are opposed.

“I’d rather see us looking at other models where we are providing the most efficient service possible for everyone involved,” said Buffy Baumbrough, a Vernon director.

“I’m not convinced the alternative put forward is the best one.”

A majority of the board supports a proposal where Vernon would not have to pay towards operation of the centre if city employees took over some duties from contractors and technicians.

“It is conceivable that an amount up to the equivalent of Vernon Fire Rescue Services payment to the fire training centre in 2010, $87,000, could be provided by the way of a labour credit, effectively reducing Vernon’s FTC requisition and usage costs to zero,” said Ron Baker, NORD’s community protective services manager, in a memo.

Vernon has indicated it will withdraw from the regional service because of the costs involved and the fact that some courses being offered aren’t certified.

Wayne Lippert, a Vernon director, says the focus shouldn’t be on how to just reduce the city’s financial contribution, but on how to provide a cost-effective service overall.

“If something can be worked out and we can keep everyone involved at a higher level of service at a lower cost, the city will be willing to look at it,” he said.

Other board members, though, believe an agreement with Vernon over a labour credit may resolve the dispute.

“The fire training centre is crucial to the regional district and there has to be some method to come to terms with it. There have been some good suggestions on how to do that,” said Rick Fairbairn, rural Lumby director.

Blue Divider Line

Open Burning Permits Available

Friday, October 1st 2011 marks the start of the open burning season within Central Okanagan fire jurisdictions.

Fire authorities throughout the region will begin issuing permits effective October 1st for those property owners that are eligible to burn yard waste outdoors. Under Regional District and local fire bylaws, permitted open burning must be complete by April 30th however, fire chiefs may extend or shorten the burning season depending on the fire hazard in their area.

Starting October 1st, those people with properties greater than one hectare are allowed to burn outdoors, but only after receiving a permit from their local fire authority and only when both air and venting conditions are favourable. Farmers and large lot owners must also follow any regulations before lighting any fire.

Eligible property owners within the Central Okanagan East or the Central Okanagan West electoral areas may obtain a permit by calling the Regional District at 250-469-6223 (Long Distance Collect Calls are accepted) weekdays only between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, excluding holidays. All other eligible property owners must obtain a permit from their municipal fire department.

Before lighting any approved fire, all property owners must call the Outdoor Burning Hotline (250-470-5155, Select 1, then 2). The Air Quality and Venting Indices must be good, before any burning begins. Under the Regional District Smoke Control Bylaw, creating nuisance smoke from open burning is not allowed in the City of Kelowna, the District of Lake Country, District of West Kelowna and the Central Okanagan East and West Electoral Areas or under the bylaws of the District of Peachland.

Violator’s could receive a fine or be charged with the cost of putting out the fire. Residents are encouraged to report anyone who is illegally burning on a non-burning day by calling the Fire Department Dispatch Center at 250-469-8577.

While property owners with smaller lots are not allowed to burn outdoors they are encouraged to take advantage of other options to dispose of their yard waste. The bi-weekly curbside yard waste collection program is underway through the end of November and residents are reminded to only place leaves, grass, pine needles and small prunings inside their wheeled yard waste cart with the green lid closed. Residents may also choose to use the year-round free yard waste program at either the Glenmore landfill (Open seven days a week 7:30 am to 4:45 pm) or at the Westside Residential Waste Disposal Centre (Open 7:30 am to 4:00 pm Friday through Monday). Yard waste and pruning’s weighing up to 250 kilograms (550 pounds) and 20 centimetres or less in diameter may be dropped off for free at either location. When transporting loads for disposal, please make sure they are covered. Loads exceeding the maximum weight will be charged $25.00 per ton as long as the yard waste is separated from regular garbage. As well, a number of private companies offer wood chipping and grinding services or rent portable chippers. Some may also pick up yard waste for disposal.

Most of the burning permits that are issued in the Central Okanagan are for agricultural burning, which is allowed under Provincial Right to Farm legislation. However, farmers must also call the Outdoor Burning Hotline to ensure burning is allowed before starting any fire. The Regional Air Quality Program is working with farmers to encourage the use of the .pdf icon Agricultural Chipping Program as an alternate disposal method.

Fire Department Jurisdictions

Call the Regional District 250-469-6223 (weekdays only 8:00 am – 4:00 pm excluding holidays)
Note: North Westside residents may call ‘Collect’ or avoid long distance charges by using a cellular phone. They may also contact North Westside Fire/Rescue at 250-545-1195 to obtain a permit.

City of Kelowna residents contact - Kelowna Fire Department 250-469-8801

Lake Country residents contact - Lake Country Fire Department 250-766-2327

Peachland residents contact - Peachland Fire Rescue Service 250-767-2841

West Kelowna residents contact – West Kelowna Fire/Rescue 250-769-1640

All West Kelowna municipal burning permits will be issued from Lakeview Station 32, 2708 Olalla Road

(September 28, 2010)

Source:  RDCO's What's New

Blue Divider Line

The Regional District presented Norm McLeod, Lorraine Denommee, Wayne Carson and Jim Edgson with Certificates of Appreciation in recognition of their volunteer participation on the development of the First Responders Program for the North Westside Road area. They were members of the North Westside Advisory Commission.

Source - Maxine Dehart

Blue Divider Line

Source - Kelowna.com

This is only sections of a conversation that took place on Kelowna.com.  Click the link to read the entire conversation.

----------------------------------

Lynn says:
July 26, 2009 at 8:30 am

To Jane and all other landowners in North Westside who are stuck living next door to vacant investment lots which are high fire hazards:

I feel for you Jane, I’m in the same situation and I live in Killiney. I have 4 vacant lots in close proximity to my home, that are loaded with dozens of dead pine trees. Even though I’ve spent years thinning, removing and cleaning up, in a major fire, the radiant heat off these lots burning up would still combust my house, even with all my best efforts to fire proof our property. The part that makes me mad as hell, when you contact the landowners, and explain to them they have dead trees they should be dealing with, the answer you get is they are not interested in helping, and have refused to take the trees down, EVEN WHEN OFFERED to do so AT MY OWN EXPENSE. I don’t know if this is arrogance or stupidity on the landowner’s part, but the problem is Jane, we do not have a by law in our neck of the woods to cover fuel fire hazard removal on vacant or housed properties. This, as a community, is where we HAVE TO demand change. It might, in the end, take a class action civil suit against the RDCO to wake them up, because after all, not only are our homes in danger, but realistically, our lives are in danger too, and one of these days, we might not be able to get everyone out of the way in time. This is tantamount to negligence, in my opinion. If someone dies, crap is going to hit the fan. The answer, and this is going to be a frustrating one, EVERYBODY, the more, the better, call write, or e-mail Jim Egdson or the RDCO to demand change. The problem is here, are politically correct members that we elect to represent us in all the regional districts, don’t have the intestinal fortitude to bring this kind of by law in. My personal contribution to this, even though I work in the forest industry and I do private hazard tree removals, myself and my neighbors in the Killiney area, are going to try to organize, on a strictly volunteer basis, to start taking down these dead trees, unpaid, at our own cost, to try to do SOMETHING to save us from disaster. Jane, it’s not IF it’s going to happen, it’s WHEN. We’re living in the middle of a time bomb, and I, myself, do NOT want to see my neighbors or their pets die, or their homes leveled.

To everyone out there, good luck. We’re gonna need it

--------------------

Lynn says:
July 25, 2009 at 7:28 am

*chuckles*

Maybe we should light a fire under the fire chief’s butt to get him on these private landowners who aren’t cleaning up their property and threatening the rest of our safety, instead of sitting there dreamin about fireboats and ladder trucks. As for the dead trees on crown land, maybe we should do what Dave Roberston did in Westshores, and clear around all the subdivision for free, on his own time. It’s called community service. Oh by the way, I also work in the forest service, so I DO know what I am talking about. I guess that having a firewood pile right next to your house is safe…try reading the FireSafe manual. It’s rather enlightening.

--------------------------

Dan says:
July 25, 2009 at 7:22 am

I’ve worked in the forest industry for 30 years now. If you THIN THE FOREST, if you REMOVE THE LADDER FUEL, if you REMOVE DEAD GRASS AND GABAGE, the odds of being wiped out by a crown fire are marginallized. Whether you spend $100, or $10,000 on cleaning up your property, again a small price to pay for your personal safety. I fully agree with Lynn. It’s nice to see someone who lives in an actual REALITY world. Remember, the only person who can protecty your property, when it comes down to the crunch, will be what you can do TODAY, instead of when a fire is roaring down the mountian towards your house tomorrow. As for the people in Westshores living next to vacant lots, or ANYYWHERE ELSE, we need legislative changes to force cleanup on vacant properties. Maybe phone Jim Edgson today and complain.

Dan
Any by the way, I LIVE IN KILLINEY BEACH

--------------------------

Jane says:
July 24, 2009 at 2:34 pm

“Lynn”

I actually happen to have a home out in westshore estates, and I only have one pine tree and one willow tree in my yard?? Am I contributing to this forest fire as well???? Last year a dead pine beetle tree fell on my roof, it was in an empty lot owned by the city. It was in fact tagged to be removed for over a year, but the government did not pay to have it removed! Maybe you shouldn’t throw comments out when you have no idea what you are talking about!

Thank you
Have a nice day

Blue Divider Line

Saving homes from potential fire
By Barry McDivitt, CHBC NEWS November 18, 2010

Reducing the fuel for a forest fire Photograph by: Jim Douglas, CHBC NEWS

A major fuel reduction program is getting underway near the Westshore Estates subdivision south of Vernon on Westside Road.

The heavily wooded community, home to at least 1,000 residents, is considered a high-risk area for interface fires.

In July 2009, the Terrace Mountain forest fire came within five kilometers of the subdivision.

A work crew is now in the process of removing dead trees and branches from a 28-hectare section of forest that borders Westshore Estates and the Okanagan Indian Reserve.

"It thins out the forest, which slows down forest fires," said Jim Edgson of the Central Okanagan Regional District.

The $200,000 project is being funded by the provincial government.

Brent Langlois of First Nations Emergency Services says there are many other municipalities and native bands around the province that are planning similar fuel reduction programs.

© Copyright (c) CW Media Inc

Blue Divider Line

We can't believe that the Regional District of Central Okanagan has done nothing to have absent property owners clean up their dead and dying trees.  Is the Regional District going to wait until a tree falls on someone before they do anything about it?  And what is wrong with these property owners who cannot come and clean up dead trees on their empty properties?  okanaganlakebc.ca was blocked from exiting home due to a beetle kill tree that fell on the only road out.  Because this was a private Easement Road the Fire Dept would not come and take the tree off the road, only if an ambulance was called would the Fire Dept then come.

Blue Divider Line

DAVE ROBERTSON: “trench” or "curtain" burner, in my mind it is not cost effective.

Dave Robertson who ran for Central Okanagan West Director a few years back, and has been a long time fire dept member before retiring, and who was recently elected as a North Westside Communities Association director in 2010, has a website if you didn't already know.  He has some good information about wildfire protecting your property.  Dave Robertson on his own initiative has drawn up a wildfire protection plan 2010, and submitted it to the Regional District of Central Okanagan for consideration.  Dave explains his wildfire plan in laymans terms we can all understand.  To find out more about Dave Robertson's wildfire protection plan please visit Dave's website.

Dave also has some sound information to share about the possible purchase of a fire/rescue boat for the North Westside Road area.  Please visit Dave Robertson's website for more information.

Make a comment and read others comments about a trench or air-curtain burner.  There are photos of an air-curtain burner here too.

Blue Divider Line

Oct 2010

Tree damage dismay
Some Okanagan residents discover, to their dismay, the hazards of living near beetle killed trees.

This is a story as seen on CHBC news about a man from Fintry who has a neighbour that doesn't want to pay for the damage their tree caused when it fell onto the mans property.  The man wants the Regional District of Central Okanagan to clarify who is responsible so that neighbours do not end up fighting with one another.

Blue Divider Line

Tree laying on BC Hydro's power line at Valley of the Sun on Briarwood Road Jan 13, 2011

You can see the tree is hung up by the broken stub where a branch was broken off.  One property owner said they called BC Hydro and was told to contact the property the tree is on.  BC Hydro wouldn't take care of their hydro line and left it up to property owners to take care of.  Well the tree is on an empty lot and apparently calling the Real Estate Agent did not garner any results.  BC Hydro doesn't care how many customers would be affected in the dead of winter who may have no power if the tree breaks the power line due to some wind and stress on the line, or whatever.

Tree laying on BC Hydro power line.
click photo for larger image

There was another dead beetle kill tree that fell partly on Firwood Road around this same time.  Luckily there was no hydro line on that side of the road.

Do you feel the Fire Chief should exercise his duty to make sure fire hazards are cleaned up?

Do you feel if we wait until summer to clean up these dead trees, one tree could be very dangerous to the entire Westside if it fell on a hydro line creating a fire?

If you feel that the Regional District of Central Okanagan and/or the North Westside Road Fire Chief should do something to ensure that property owners look after their empty properties so as not to destroy the neighborhood as okanaganlakebc.ca does, please feel free to contact the North Westside Road Fire Dept. and/or the Regional District of Central Okanagan, and/or your local Central Okanagan West Director Jim Edgson.

Blue Divider Line

City blocks firefighters going to reserve
Vernon Morning Star - By Roger Knox - December 16, 2010

The City of Armstrong does not want the local fire department fighting fires on Okanagan Indian Band land.

Council voted unanimously Monday to stick with an original motion created at a joint Armstrong-Spallumcheen council meeting that states the Armstrong-Spallumcheen Fire Department will not be able to respond to fires on OKIB land, and that the motion be expressed in writing to the fire department, OKIB and fire dispatch.

The Splats’in First Nation was originally included in the motion, but it has since been discovered an old agreement was still in place, and that several Splats’in properties border the township boundary.

At its regular monthly meeting last week, Spallumcheen council voted by a margin of 4-3 to amend the resolution, stating the fire department would not respond until a mutual fire protection agreement was in place.

Armstrong Mayor Chris Pieper said Tuesday his council did not want to go with any kind of agreement, whether it’s mutual aid or fee-for-service.

“If we enter into some kind of agreement, it’s automatic that we’re in,” he said.

“We do not want to be the fire protection for the OKIB. We’ll enter into negotiations with them, but that’s it.

“It’s not our mandate to provide fire protection for the Okanagan Indian Band.”

Spallumcheen Mayor Will Hansma said Tuesday that it was never said that fighting fires on OKIB land was part of the city or township’s mandate.

Hansma said his council wants to enter into a mutual aid agreement like they have with Enderby, BX, Vernon or any of the other surrounding communities.

“If they require us to assist, then we would have to have a mutual aid agreement in place,” said Hansma.

“This is not about a fee-for-service agreement, it’s not about responding just for the sake of responding or just being a good neighbour.

“A mutual aid agreement is something we have established with every other community, and that is by request and if it is needed. There’s nothing wrong with forming a mutual aid agreement if their fire department is able to reciprocate.”

Several Armstrong representatives voiced concerns about the OKIB’s ability to reciprocate at the joint council meeting.

Concerns over liability have been expressed if the Armstrong Spallumcheen fire department is fighting a fire outside its jurisdiction, after being asked to respond, and leaving the township and city short of resources should a fire break out in its boundaries at the same time.

Currently, fire chief Ian Cummings has to have permission from the mayors to go outside the jurisdiction to help respond to an emergency.

“If he calls me, I will say no,” said Pieper.

Hansma said if he is called by Cummings, he would make a decision “when the time comes.”

“It depends on the circumstances, that’s all there is to it,” he said.

The fire department has responded to two fires on band land this year, but has not been asked to respond to any on Splats’in lands.

The Splats’in First Nation has a fee-for-service agreement with the City of Enderby for fire protection.

Blue Divider Line

Vernon won’t extend fire service
Vernon Morning Star - By Richard Rolke - December 16, 2010

Vernon firefighters will not be responding to emergencies in a neighbouring jurisdiction.

Council has denied a request from the North Okanagan Regional District to provide fire protection to properties along Commonage Road, Bailey Road and Highway 97. They are part of electoral Area B.

NORD is looking at ways to provide fire protection in an area that doesn’t have any, but Mayor Wayne Lippert insists that’s not the city’s responsibility.

“They didn’t have any fire protection when they built there,” he said of the property owners.

The primary concern is that there would be increased liability for city firefighters and equipment if they went beyond municipal boundaries.

“The roads there are not to city standards,” said Coun. Jack Gilroy.

“They’re too steep and you can’t risk a $1 million fire truck to serve an area outside of Vernon.”

City staff pointed out that if an area outside of Vernon wants to access services it usually has to be annexed.

“That area is in the ultimate city boundary,” said Leon Gous, chief administrative officer.

However, Coun. Patrick Nicol believes the city should have considered the request further.

“The city department is the closest. Why would we not find a way a way to do this?” he said

Blue Divider Line

Service may stop to bands
Vernon Morning Star - By Roger Knox - November 27, 2010

Two Indian bands may not have the services of the Armstrong-Spallumcheen Fire Department during emergencies.

At a joint Armstrong-Spallumcheen council meeting Thursday, it was recommended that the township and city advise the Okanagan and Splats’in bands that the fire department is unable to respond to future calls for fire assistance.

A major concern is if Armstrong-Spallumcheen firefighters and their equipment are helping with a fire on band land and a fire breaks out in either the township or city.

The township and city had met with OKIB officials to discuss coming up with a mutual aid or fee-for-service agreement.

The Armstrong-Spallumcheen Fire Department helped out with two fires on band land earlier this year. Both Mayor Will Hansma, of Spallumcheen, and Chris Pieper, of Armstrong, had given authorization for the fire department to attend both blazes.

Armstrong Coun. Ryan Nitchie called the situation a moral dilemma, and questioned why the onus had been put on the township and city to provide additional fire protection.

“The Okanagan Indian Band is responsible for providing fire protection for the people on their land,” said Nitchie.

John Trainor, a councillor for Armstrong, was opposed to entering into a fee-for-service agreement.

“We would become a de factor fire department that would double the size of what we’re supposed to look after,” said Trainor.

Another problem is the fire department being sent to areas outside its boundary by fire dispatch.

The joint council recommendation also includes letting fire dispatch know that the local department would not attend fires outside their area.

The recommendation caught both Chief Fabian Alexis, of the Okanagan Indian Band, and Chief Wayne Christian, of the Splats’in First Nation, by surprise.

“I’m a little confused because we met with both sides a few weeks back and were looking at a mutual aid agreement but realized it wasn’t quite encompassing for us, but then we were looking at a fee-for-service agreement,” said Alexis.

The Okanagan Indian Band has its own fire department.

“I’m surprised. We do realize there is huge liability concerns if they do come on to the reserve. We are working towards a fee-for-service agreement, but our council needs to be appraised of that,” said Alexis.

“I don’t know what’s the alternative. We do have a small fire department. We were working towards an agreement. Now I’m wondering if there’s something else they know that they haven’t communicated with us.”

The Splats’in First Nation does not have its own volunteer fire department, and does have a mutual aid agreement with the City of Enderby’s volunteer department.

Christian finds it interesting that neither the township or city contacted his band about the meeting.

“I thought we had a better relationship with local government, obviously we don’t,” said Christian.

“It concerns me that they didn’t have the courtesy to contact us to have dialogue and discussion around these issues.”

Blue Divider Line

Firefighters seek tax recognition
Vernon Morning Star - By Richard Rolke - November 25, 2010

Attempts to retain and attract volunteer firefighters are gaining support in the North Okanagan.

The City of Vernon is urging the federal government to initiate a $3,000 refundable tax credit for firefighters who volunteer more than 200 hours in a year.

“Anything that encourages more volunteers in a department is overdue,” said Coun. Bob Spiers.

Volunteers in Vernon and most North Okanagan communities receive pay for attending emergencies and practises. Coun. Jack Gilroy says it’s not enough to encourage people to get involved.

“The training standard and the time they put in compared to the stipend they get doesn’t even out,” said Gilroy, a former firefighter.

“This is a small way to show we support them.”

The current tax credit is $1,000.

MPs were poised to deal with a bill on the tax credit in 2008, but it fell off the table when Parliament was prorogued.

The Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs is urging the federal government to take action.

“Our organization has been meeting with federal politicians for some time now regarding our concerns around recruiting and retaining volunteer firefighters,” said Bruce Burrell, CAFC president.

“Providing a tax credit for volunteer firefighters would go a long way in addressing those concerns.”

Jeff Carlisle, Vernon fire chief, supports the campaign.

“This is an initiative that needs to get through to Parliament,” he said.

The association has established a website at www.givefirefighterscredit.ca. It allows Canadians to write a letter to their MP and to sign a petition.

“I urge everyone to go online and support this,” said Spiers, adding that Okanagan-Shuswap MP Colin Mayes should be contacted by interested residents.

Besides Vernon, the campaign has the endorsement of the North Westside Fire Department.

“It’s all about recruiting and retaining volunteers for the community,” said Wayne Carson, chief of the department that covers from Westshores to La Casa.

“We’re looking for public support to have the credit increased.”

Blue Divider Line

Communities discuss mutual aid
Vernon Morning Star - By Roger Knox - November 13, 2010

So far, so good.

Mayors Will Hansma of Spallumcheen and Chris Pieper of Armstrong were both pleased with the progress made at the first meeting with the Okanagan Indian Band to discuss a mutual aid fire protection agreement between the three communities.

“I think we had a good meeting, it’s a work in progress,” said Pieper. “It was a really good, positive meeting. Everybody wanted to discuss the whole thing openly.”

OKIB Chief Fabian Alexis could not be reached for comment on the discussions.

There is currently no such mutual agreement in place, and Hansma brought up the topic of reaching an accord in light of members of the Armstrong-Spallumcheen Fire Department helping out with several recent fires on band land.

Hansma had expressed concerns about liability aspects and unnecessary risks for the fire department and residents of Armstrong and Spallumcheen.

“We basically went through what we needed to do,” said Hansma of the mutual aid meeting. “We should have something for joint councils to review at the end of the month.

“It was a very productive meeting that lasted an hour, hour-and-a-half.”

Administrators for the three communities will meet to draw up basically a fee-for-service agreement and will present it to all councils involved.

Armstrong-Spallumcheen firefighters were called in for backup to help OKIB members battle a pair of cabin fires on Fred Road, about six kilometres down Westside Road, Oct. 29. The Armstrong-Spallumcheen department was called after the fire spread from the original cabin to an adjacent structure.

Nine OKIB volunteer firefighters were battling the original blaze.

Armstrong-Spallumcheen members also helped battle a fire at a Westside Road mobile home park in the summer that destroyed four homes.

Blue Divider Line

Okanagan fire chief wants to see changes to fire bylaws
Kelowna Capital News - By Dave Preston - October 29, 2010

West Kelowna’s existing fire bylaws were inherited from the regional district during the formation of the new municipality and they’re now in need of change says fire chief Wayne Schnitzler.

The fire department has been reviewing the Fire Prevention Regulation, Establishment and Service Area Boundary bylaws and has determined that changes are needed, Schnitzler told council earlier this week.

“What we propose to do is look at the existing bylaws,” said the chief, adding two of the bylaws will be combined into one and there will be a clear definition added of the services that West Kelowna Fire Rescue will provide.

Council needs to have discussion about the service area boundaries, said Schnitzler.

Currently the service area for the fire department includes a fair amount of Crown land—a holdover from when the department was operated under the auspices of the regional district.

Changes recommended by Schnitzler include:

• Definitions for responses outside the service area;

• Requirements for highrise/tall buildings;

• Allowing the fire chief to initiate evacuations in tactical situations. Currently only the fire commissioner can authorize an evacuation for West Kelowna;

• Adding a section to the bylaws that allows the fire chief the ability to close to the public forested areas during high hazard conditions;

• Add special burning regulations for removal of wood waste for fuel management;

• Allowance for permits for the installation, use and storage of dangerous goods;

• Restrictions on the use of underground and under-building parking areas.

Another change Schnitzler wants to see is a requirement for fire protection upgrades to existing buildings.

He said an example is Westwood Fibre, which used to be a door plant. When it switched to being a fibre manufacturing plant, few upgrades were required to the building.

“We had a few fire issues down there,” said Schnitzler. Later, the fibre plant put in fire walls and an upgraded sprinkler system and since then, there have been fewer problems at the plant.

“With the closure of forested areas... what happens on the enforcement side?” asked Coun. Bryden Winsby.

“Normally we use bylaw enforcement,” said Brian Collier, West Kelowna fire prevention officer.

Collier highlighted the need to have a permit situation where hazardous goods storage is involved.

He said currently the fire department is not required to be notified of hazardous goods storage.

“These are bylaws for the District of West Kelowna. You are also WFN’s fire department,” said Mayor Doug Findlater.

Schnitzler said the current agreement with WFN allows for that jurisdiction to adopt any bylaws put forward by West Kelowna.

The fire chief said WFN will be asked to adopt the same bylaws as West Kelowna, at the same time.

Another bylaw change being contemplated by the fire department is new regulations governing sprinkling.

“Right now we follow the building code and the fire code,” said Schnitzler.

“There are other districts in the province that have taken sprinkling to a higher level.”

Schnitzler said his department will be looking at providing additional requirements of developers through the bylaw process. But, he added, the changes could increase the cost of development in the municipality and that must be recognized.

Blue Divider Line

Who should respond?
Kelowna Capital News - By Mike Simmons - November 05, 2010

The regional district and Big White Resort are still negotiating which fire department should cover the boundary area.

At last week’s regional committee meeting, fire services manager Rod Miller noted the CORD is still talking with Big White about a mutual aid agreement for fire department coverage. He said both sides are trying to come up with an agreement that will work for fire departments at Big White and Joe Rich. The area of contention is where the Big White road enters the regional district.

Miller said the Big White fire department wants to come down to the highway and take care of fire calls in that area. He noted there is a long response time from Big White, with 20 kilometres to travel to the bottom of the road. Miller sees a dual response plan, where both departments would respond.

“I think we’d find Joe Rich hall (firefighters) would get there a lot quicker and more often.”

He pointed out a dual response model is typical in joint-patrol areas. Fires near the tunnel between Richmond and Delta see responses from two fire halls, and the truck first on scene manages the call.

Central Okanagan East Director Kelly Hayes asked if the dual response plan would mean more cost to send both departments.

Miller said the move is about safety and serving the community.

“We’re trying to keep the costs at a minimum.”

He pointed out that especially in winter, the response from the Big White fire hall would be quite slow in getting down to the highway.

Hayes sask if both departments were paid for responding wouldn’t that be “overkill?”

“What criteria would you use for sending both departments?”

Miller noted both departments are paid for responding.

He added the factors in a situation that would require both departments to respond have not yet been determined.

Blue Divider Line

Fire Fuel Reduction and Trail Building Crews at work

Ten experienced workers are on the job making several Regional Parks safer by reducing the wildfire threat.

The employees have been hired by the Regional District of Central Okanagan thanks to a $249,590 grant under the Canada/BC Job Opportunities Program. Regional District Chair Robert Hobson says, “This money is instrumental in allowing the Regional District to provide four months of meaningful employment while helping us move forward in acting on reducing identified fire hazards in the Regional Parks Operational Wildfire Protection Plan.”

Regional District Communications Coordinator Bruce Smith says, “These skilled workers will be conducting fuel management work and trail building projects in several Regional Parks through December. The goal is to reduce the risk of wildfires in parks that interface with neighbourhoods such as Glen Canyon Regional Park, Mission Creek Regional Park and Scenic Canyon Regional Park.”

Parks Services Director Murray Kopp adds, “The workers are split into two crews of five and are thinning, pruning and removing hazard trees and other potential fire fuels in key areas of these Regional Parks. These areas were identified as having a high priority in the Regional Parks Operational Wildfire Protection Plan.”

Where possible in easily accessible areas, fuel materials will be chipped and removed from the site. In less accessible areas when conditions permit and in accordance with local bylaws, materials will be burned.

Regional Park visitors are asked to be aware of possible trail closures while the crews are at work. Signs will be posted when an area is closed and for their safety park users are requested to stay out of any closed areas.

(October 15, 2010)

Source - Regional District of Central Okanagan What's New

Blue Divider Line

DWK gets $200,000 for fuel mitigation
by Castanet Staff - Story: 57238 - Oct 1, 2010

The District of West Kelowna received some unexpected news from the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention going on in Whistler.

The municipality learned Wednesday a grant application through the Union of B.C. Municipalities Fuel Management Grant.

The grant is worth $209,000.

Mayor Doug Findlater says the grant was a bit of a surprise because the municipality was under the impression it wasn't looking good.

"That is part of the prescription to go into areas that are in close proximity to residential areas that are publicly owned, not privately owned," says Findlater.

"Basically we can do all that fuel reduction work with the lower branches and the needles. Clean them up so they are much more fire reduced areas."

Findlater and council also met with government representatives about issues such as free crown land acquisitions, decreasing the rising costs of policing for municipalities and a resolution to the couplet concerns.

Wednesday's meetings included:

•Pat Bell, Minister of Forests and Range to speak about the District’s interest in funding support for the removal of fire damaged trees from private and crown lands and related replanting. Previous fires that have occurred on Mt. Boucherie, in Glenrosa and Goats Peak have left stands of fire-damaged trees and scarring on the hillsides. These areas present dangers to the public and the natural habitat for wildlife has been destroyed. The news yesterday of the fuel management grant was very welcome by the District. To also aid the District in its request for replanting support, Minister Bell offered his ministry to work with the District on arranging a community planting day that would involve private and public organizations, on public and private lands. Council will consider this offer once staff provides an overview of detailed information coming from the province.

West Kelowna, as a new municipality with limited capital reserves and land resources, is also seeking to obtain support for the acquisition of Crown land for municipal infrastructure. A previous commitment to the Westside Governance Committee included offers from the ministry to work with the new municipality on acquiring Crown land for much-needed municipal infrastructure. Minister Bell indicated that this commitment at the time of incorporation will be investigated.

•Mike De Jong, Attorney General and Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General regarding the increasing costs of policing for municipalities. Since signing its Municipal Policing Agreement on April 1, 2009, there have been cost increases downloaded to the province’s municipalities, including the doubling of the police records management user fee, RCMP member pension increases and new standards for closed circuit video equipment. Coupled with this concern is the request to be provided the opportunity to provide input on decisions that may have financial impact on municipalities.

Minister De Jong is being made aware of this concern from many other municipalities. West Kelowna is a member of the Inter municipal Services Advisory Board, also including Kelowna, Vernon and Penticton, which recently called for cooperation on RCMP costs from the Provincial Government.

•Shirley Bond, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure to discuss the need to find a long term, mutually beneficial solution to redesign, relocate or identify ways to reduce the financial and livability impact the Highway 97 couplet, built in 1986, has had on the commercial heart of this community. Minister Bond indicated that her ministry is aware of West Kelowna’s concern and will work with District staff through the development of the Westbank Centre Plan and the Transportation Master Plan, currently underway. The Ministry plans to identify options for consideration by Spring 2011.

“They are aware of our concerns for the impact the couple has had on this community and seem to understand that it is not just about moving cars, but about building a community,” says Findlater.

“This is an important area and we want to see a healthy residential and commercial centre in Westbank and the couplet doesn’t lend itself to that.”

West Kelowna inquired about a water infrastructure funding program to support possible extension of water systems and infrastructure upgrades and was advised that the ministry is looking into that possibility in conjunction with federal government.

•Tim Lambert, Executive Director for Health Protection with the Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport regarding funding for West Nile Mosquito larvicide programs. Lambert explained the plans for the program, advising that it was being analyzed for effectiveness in reducing mosquitoes. Results of the study will be shared with municipalities and with Interior Health.

As with yesterday’s meeting, Mayor Findlater said the tone of the day’s meetings was that new funding for municipalities will remain scarce until the provincial government budget is in the black again.

“We know money is tight,” adds Findlater. “But, not everything is about money. Many times, we just need some attention paid to what our concerns are, and the chance to work together towards solutions. If we can’t accomplish our goals through funding, we can do it through policy and engaging provincial ministers and staff.”

Blue Divider Line

Canadian Registered Charities
NORTH WESTSIDE ROAD FIREFIGHTERS SOCIETY
The Charities Directorate has not necessarily verified the information provided by the Charity.

Registered Charity Information Returns for the North Westside Road Firefighters Society

Blue Divider Line


click article for larger print

 

Fire boat placed on backburner
Vernon Morning Star - By Richard Rolke - September 23, 2010

A contentious fire boat won’t be acquired this year, but plans continue to ignite heated debate among North Westside Road residents.

The Central Okanagan Regional District board has decided not to purchase a mobile water supply boat but it will be considered among other fire department priorities during 2011-2015 budget talks.

“For me, it was a financial issue. The decision was made in light of the cost,” said Jim Edgson, North Westside director.

CORD had $150,000 set aside to purchase the vessel, but all responses to a request for proposals were over budget. It’s believed the boat could cost about $196,000, with $50,000 needed for a boat house.

Edgson says the next step is for the regional district to determine the long-term needs for the North Westside Fire Department and whether the fire boat is included.

“There’s no guarantee it will rise to the top,” he said.

Fire chief Wayne Carson isn’t surprised by CORD’s decision, but he insists the need for a mobile water supply boat is increasing.

“It’s absolutely the top priority for this community,” he said.

“A lot of areas don’t have water systems rated (they don’t meet insurance requirements for flows) and there are single accesses to properties and dead trees all over.”

Because of limited road access to some areas, Carson believes a house fire or wildfire poses a significant risk.

“We’re trying to elevate the level of protection,” he said.

Acquisition of the boat has been opposed by the North Westside Ratepayers Association.

“We would have been more pleased if the regional district motion said the fire boat won’t proceed but it says it won’t proceed in 2010. It’s not over yet,” said president Diane Baldwin.

“Instead of looking at a five-year plan, they need to look at whether there is a necessity for this fire boat.”

The association believes other methods could be used to fight fires in the community.

“To buy a piece of equipment for a what-if situation is extravagant,” said Baldwin, adding that taxes have been climbing for North Westside residents.

“A lot of people are on fixed budgets and for a lot of people, the situation is getting critical.”

Blue Divider Line

Fire dispatch proves costly
Vernon Morning Star - By Richard Rolke - September 16, 2010

Establishing a new fire dispatch function in Vernon won’t be cheap.

Council has approved a number of expenditures from reserves for the fire dispatch centre.

“There will be renovations for the existing dispatch centre,” said fire chief Jeff Carlisle of $30,000, including workstations.

A total of $5,000 will be spent on a consultant study for the system design, transition plan and cash flow analysis, while there will be $5,000 for repairs and secure system wiring, $2,000 for project travel and research and $50,000 for a communication system study.

Other expenditures are expected as it’s determined what kind of dispatch system and equipment to use.

The city has withdrawn from the regional fire dispatch service and is forming its own function.

Boiler System Needs Replacing

Steps are being taken to ensure Vernon’s fire department is warm during the winter.

Staff will take $25,000 out of reserves to replace the boiler piping network from city hall to the fire hall.

“I hate digging up the street again. For $25,000, can’t we put a boiler in the fire hall?” said Coun. Jack Gilroy.

However, Shirley Koenig, operations manager, says installing a boiler in the fire hall would cost $35,000, as well as maintenance, whereas the physical plant in city hall is able to handle the load.

“The boiler in this building (city hall) was sized to operate the fire hall,” she said.

Neighbourhood Fights For Park

A Vernon neighbourhood is concerned opportunities for a new park could be lost.

The North Okanagan Regional District has been in discussions to purchase land at Canadian Lakeview Estates for park, but the Lakeview Estates Community Association claims the process has been delayed because of possible restructuring of Greater Vernon’s parks and recreation function.

“We cannot jeopardize the project,” said Isabel Furtado, LECA president.

The property includes two tennis courts, storage and parking.

Mayor Wayne Lippert, who is involved in the restructuring process, believes it should be wrapped up soon.

“We’ve been moving along as quickly as we can,” he said of the negotiations involving Vernon, Coldstream and NORD.

Blue Divider Line

District defends case over dispatch
Vernon Morning Star - By Richard Rolke - August 12, 2010

The North Okanagan Regional District is defending its actions over fire dispatch.

NORD is disputing claims that it ended a contract with the City of Vernon to provide fire dispatch when it agreed to a request from the city not to participate in the function anymore.

“We have an agreement for provision of the service. It’s separate from the service establishment bylaw,” said chairman Herman Halvorson.

“The contract is the contract and that goes until the end of the year.”

A request for proposals for the service was issued earlier this year after Vernon announced it was leaving the regional function so it could focus on infrastructure enhancements it requires.

Vernon did not submit a formal proposal, but it stated it would provide the service as it currently does under contract for the regional function.

NORD, instead, has decided to enter into negotiations with the Fraser Valley Regional District to provide fire dispatch.

Halvorson expects that Vernon will continue to provide dispatch until NORD has reached a deal with Fraser Valley, even if it’s on a month-to-month basis after Dec. 31.

Halvorson also points out that Vernon can’t simply abandon the regional district over dispatch.

“They’re using our equipment and they’ve been paying for it as a member of the service,” he said.

Vernon has questioned if it will be reimbursed funding it has paid towards regional dispatch now that it’s been removed from the function. Halvorson says that Vernon’s departure may be moved to Dec. 31 to coincide with tax requisition schedules.

Mayor Wayne Lippert continues to insist NORD’s decision to immediately remove Vernon from the function brought the service contract to a halt.

“As soon as you take someone out of the service, that changes the service,” he said.

He also says the city is willing to provide the contract until NORD makes new arrangements with Fraser Valley.

“They need to tell us how they want us to handle things. Now that we’re out of the service, do they want us to charge rent for the equipment?” he said.

“I wish directors would work towards solutions instead of putting up walls.”

Blue Divider Line

The dead trees needing to be removed are on private property and not on the Easement Road until they fall down.

Received by email August 11, 2010

Dear Easement Road user, and not the owner of the private property the dead trees are on:

Thank you for your email of July 19, 2010, regarding your concerns about the removal of dead trees.

Generally, easement agreements contain provisions that outline the responsibility of the property owner and the holder of the easement with regard to the use and maintenance of the easement. If an easement is used for access purposes, then usually it is the responsibility of the easement holder to remove obstacles from the easement. For certainty, you would need to refer to the easement agreement that is registered against the title of the property.

Property owners have a responsibility to ensure that trees on their property do not cause harm to people or to other property. Therefore, if you feel that the trees on your neighbour’s property have the potential to cause harm, you should contact the property owner.

The authority that exists for the fire chief to deal with this matter is solely the responsibility of the Regional District of Central Okanagan (Regional District). Since you have already written to the Regional District, I expect their response will clarify the matter for you.

Thank you, again, for writing to convey your concerns.

Sincerely,
“Original signed by”
Ben Stewart
Minister of Community and Rural Development

cc: Jim.Edgson "at" CORD.bc.ca
cc: Cheryl.Doll "at" leg.bc.ca

Blue Divider Line

Ex-fire chief’s money payout revealed
Kelowna Capital News - By Jennifer Smith - August 10, 2010

Kelowna’s former fire chief leaves his post with an 18 month severance package—or a month’s pay for every year he was employed with the city’s fire department.

For 18 years worth of service, the chief will receive 18 months of compensation, or roughly $210,000 in salary and benefits according to the documents provided.

The severance agreement stipulates the former fire chief’s legal expenses, some $2,500, will also be paid by the city and the car leased for him as a member of city management will be paid for through May 2011, a year after he left his post.

The municipality did not release the severance amount when Blanleil’s departure was announced earlier this year, but the Capital News was able to obtain at least a portion of the information under the Freedom of Information Act on Tuesday afternoon.

In a surprise move this spring, René Blanleil stepped down from his position as the city’s top fire fighter saying he was ready to move on to new opportunities.

“It’s not performance related,” Charlene Covington, City of Kelowna director of human resources, told media at the time in absence of an interview from the chief.

“The chief completed the strategic plan, which was a major initiative on his plate, and we all felt that it was an appropriate time for a change,” she said.

But with only four years under his belt in a position fire fighter’s typically spend a career aiming to achieve, his decision to leave generated plenty of questions.

Online forums characterized the department as fraught with problems, placing the blame on the chief.

Included in the FOI information package is a reference letter Blanleil can use for future employment, but the reasons for his departure, contained in a document known as The Cuff Report, remain largely a mystery as privacy regulations still prevent release of any meat in the document.

The report, which Covington characterized as a review of the fire department’s administrative affairs when Blanleil left in May, indicates the chief was seen as “generally personable” and “an able representative of the department on the public stage” with “good public relations awareness” and an ability to lead fundraising ventures.

“He is obviously sincere in his desire to lead the department effectively and to ensure that it is held in high esteem on the street,” it states.

Even with masses of blacked-out text, however, the report does indicate, the parting of ways was likely not a simple decision to move on.

It does clearly state the contractor hired was asked to conduct a review of an unnamed “issue.”

The analysis included more than a page of reasons why this issue had developed—although the marked out sections do not reveal what the issue was.

The fire chief was also to be given access to career counselling as part of the severance agreement.

jsmith "at" kelownacapnews.com

Blue Divider Line

North Okanagan communities prepare for wildfire threat
Vernon Morning Star - By Richard Rolke - August 07, 2010

North Okanagan communities aren’t waiting to become the victims of wildfire.

The North Okanagan Regional District has adopted a wildland fire protection plan for all five electoral areas, including communities like Cherryville, Silver Star, Grindrod and Kingfisher.

“It’s part of good planning,” said Mike Macnabb, BX-Silver Star director.

Macnabb points out that many of the communities in the electoral areas are situated in forest and that puts them at risk from fire.

“It’s just prudent that we look at this issue,” he said.

“We’re trying to keep the forest from catching on fire.”

The plan calls for fire mitigation goals to be established, as well as exploring water sources and firebreaks, educating the public and working with government agencies and large property owners to maintain hazard-free transportation corridors.

NORD will also look at government grants to reduce fire fuels at Mara, Shuswap Falls, Kingfisher, Cherryville and Keddleston (BX).

While the plan is currently restricted to the electoral areas, the regional district’s municipal members are interested in working on fire mitigation together.

Patrick Nicol, a Vernon director, points out that the Central Okanagan Regional District recently received $1.4 million to reduce the threat of wildfire.

“We need to investigate what that fund is. We need to find out what process they followed,” he said.

At press time, the Ministry of Environment has ended the wildfire smoke advisory for the North Okanagan due improving air quality. The smoke had originated from blazes in the Cariboo.

Blue Divider Line

Dispatch service may leave valley
Vernon Morning Star - By Richard Rolke - August 07, 2010

Chilliwack-based operators could soon be handling emergency fire calls in the North Okanagan.

On Wednesday, the North Okanagan Regional District board decided to enter into negotiations with the Fraser Valley Regional District to provide fire dispatch service for areas outside of the City of Vernon.

“They had the best proposal and it will save us money,” said Herman Halvorson, chairman.

NORD issued a request for proposals for the service after Vernon announced it was leaving the regional function so it could focus on infrastructure enhancements required in its community.

Eight potential service providers, including Vernon, were approached, but only four bids were received.

Vernon did not submit a formal proposal, but it stated it would provide the service as it currently does under contract for the regional function.

According to NORD staff, the Fraser Valley dispatch service will result in savings of about $46,000 annually compared to the current budget and $83,688 compared to the Vernon model.

“It (Vernon) would have been more costly and we have a responsibility to taxpayers,” said Halvorson.

“Also, I feel we will get good service from Fraser Valley.”

The only opposition to negotiations with Fraser Valley came from director Will Hansma.

“Vernon, right from the beginning, put an offer on the table,” he said, adding that the city proposed to provide the service at the current price.

Hansma is also concerned about operators in Chilliwack not being aware of North Okanagan locations.

“Cost is important but I’m concerned about the overall impact on the fire departments. I want that local perspective,” he said.

Wayne Lippert, Vernon mayor, believes the regional district process was slanted against the city.

“What I didn’t appreciate was it being presented that we didn’t want to participate in the service,” he said.

“We always indicated that we would provide the service for the same (tax) requisition.”

Vernon could not vote on the matter Wednesday because it has withdrawn from regional fire dispatch

Blue Divider Line

$166,000 in taxpayer dollars RDCO gift to WFN to clear NATIVE land ???

RDCO/WFN work to reduce wildfire risk
Castanet.net - by Contributed - Story: 56143 - Aug 4, 2010

Reducing the possible threat of wildfire is the goal of a partnership project underway in the Trepanier Creek area of the Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO).

The fuel management work is a cooperative effort between the Regional District and Westbank First Nation (WFN) on just over 23-hectares within the Westbank First Nation Community Forest that includes an area adjacent to the District of Peachland, through the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area and District of West Kelowna to approximately Traders Cove.

A six-person crew contracted by the WFN’s forest management department Heartland Economics began falling, spacing and pruning trees in this high priority section just south of Trepanier Creek during the week of July 19th.

It’s expected their work will wrap up by late September, but may be extended if the fire hazard and danger rating affects the crew’s ability to safely work in the forest.

All fuel materials will be chipped and removed from the site. No burning will take place.

Signs have been posted and neighbours and recreation groups have been advised to be aware of periodic, short closures of unsanctioned trails through the 23.75-hectare forest as trees are cut, spaced, pruned and cleaned up.

The Regional District and Westbank First Nation recognize the importance of this work in reducing the future potential for fire in this area by removing dead and dying trees, thinning the forest under story and pruning ladder fuels, all of which can contribute to the spread and severity of any fire.

“This partnership with the Westbank First Nation is an excellent example of our governments working together to improve the safety and security of all our residents," says Regional District Chair Robert Hobson.

"We look forward to completing this and other joint forest fuel mitigation projects and encourage everyone to do what they can to make their properties Fire Smart.”

Westbank First Nation Forestry Manager, Grant Thompson, says the project is a demonstration of WFN’s commitment to manage the Westbank First Nation Community Forest for multiple values over a very long time.

"These values include timber, water, wildlife, recreation, traditional uses, visuals and protection from wildfire. Projects such as these will ensure that all Okanagan residents will be able to enjoy and benefit from of our forests for many years to come," says Thompson.

The Canada Economic Action Plan is providing more than $166,000 in Community Adjustment Funds to the Regional District of Central Okanagan for completion of this work.

This is the second cooperative joint RDCO-Westbank First Nation forest fuel reduction project this year.

In March, similar fuel management treatments were done on approximately 12-hectares in the WFN Community Forest, adjacent to the Trepanier Forest Service Road, north-west of the Okanagan Connector overpass.

Almost $40,000 in Federal Community Adjustment Funds was provided to the Regional District for this work.

Blue Divider Line

ALL ABOUT DEAD TREES ON PRIVATE PROPERTY

From ClickLaw

Trees and hedges
If your neighbour’s tree branches hang over your property, you can cut them, but only up to the property line. You cannot go onto your neighbor's property or destroy the tree. The reverse case is also true.

If your tree damages your neighbour’s property, for example, a branch falls on their roof during a storm, are you responsible? No, not unless you caused the damage intentionally or through negligence. Negligence means you did not take reasonable care or you were warned or knew the tree was damaged or diseased and may fall. But if your tree roots go under their property and damage their pipes, lawn, or foundation, you may be responsible under the common law principle of “nuisance”. It depends on the facts of the case, but normally, courts will not allow use of a property that causes substantial discomfort to others or damages their property.
http://www.cba.org/BC/public_media/housing/400.aspx

------------------------------------

July 18, 2010 a dead tree fell across the Easement driveway at Valley of the Sun, which this Easement Road is considered private property for many properties on the one side of the Easement Road.  Each property is responsible for their own section to keep clear.  These properties along the one side of the Easement Road have the legal right to use each others property and each owner is required to keep their portion of the road clear according to the land title document that states that each lot has the right to pass and repass (more about this and other easement roads here).  The tree came down from a lot that has no building on it and no owner around.  Not sure who the owner of the empty lot is but suspect the owner may be a person who works in Alberta and so this owner is not around to take care of his dead tree blocking the only driveway to several lots.  The neighbour at the end of the Easement Road borrowed a chainsaw to cut the tree down away from the Easement Road leaving the dead tree lay off to the side of the Easement Road for the property owner to finish cleaning up.  There are still three other dead trees still standing beside the one that fell, which may fall yet as well.  It wasn't even windy when the dead tree fell.  Before the neighbour cut the tree down, the North Westside Road Fire Dept were called but the Fire Chief said the Fire Dept's hands were tied because this is a private Easement Road and only if an Ambulance or Emergency vehicle needed access would the Fire Dept be able to cut the tree down. RDCO was asked last year about having the neighbour's clean up their empty lots of dead wood, but RDCO advised us there was nothing they would do.  In the minutes of the RDCO Board meeting the Regional Board even talk about not having the authority to have property owners clean up their yards of fire hazards.  But that is not what these laws below say, do they?  RDCO's own bylaw of all things ... does RDCO not know its own bylaw?  What is going on that the Fire Chief can't ask property owners to cut down dead beetle killed trees that infect other nearby trees in other people's yards, and why can't the Fire Chief ask property owners to clean up their fire hazards?  We wonder if this is something that RDCO is basically forbidding the Fire Chief to take care of?  Especially when RDCO says in its minutes of the meeting that RDCO doesn't have the authority.  Well RDCO should know that the Fire Chief has the authority, and what is wrong that RDCO believes nothing can be done?

 

Section 522 of the Local Government Act
(b) require the owners or occupiers of real property to remove from a building or yard anything that, in the opinion of the fire chief, is a fire hazard or increases the danger of fire;

RDCO Fire Prevention and Regulations Bylaw 1066
c) The owner or occupant of real property shall keep their buildings and yards clear of anything that may unduly increase the probability or danger of fire.

 

Here is a picture of the dead tree across the Easement Road that is also the only driveway for many lots at Valley of the Sun.

click pic for larger photo

 

The one neighbour's brother came along and broke the bottom branches off under the tree so we
could all drive under the tree before it could be cut and moved out of the way.

 

Here are photos of the other three dead and still standing trees
that need to be removed yet.

click pic for larger photo

 

Another angle to view these three dead trees.

click pic for larger photo

 

This dead tree is right next to the dead tree that fell down.

click pic for larger photo

 

Here you can see the tree trunk and the ground where the tree broke off.
There is still another dead tree right beside this one.
Rotten tree trunk broke off at ground level.

 

You can see how rotten the trunk of this tree was at the base and at ground level.
Rotten trunk on this tree caused it to fall over.

 

This is the hole in the ground where this dead tree rotted the most.
Hole left by the dead tree that fell over.

 

Here are photo's of the neighbour who doesn't own this property cutting the dead fallen tree.  The neighbour used a ladder to cut the tree because the dead tree top was hung up in a tree across the other side of the Easement Road and the dead tree didn't fall all the way to the ground.  Part of this dead tree top is still hung up in the other live tree.  Who's ever tree it is will need a pretty tall ladder to retrieve the top of the dead tree from being hung up in the live tree because the live tree is growing on the bank alongside the Easement Road.

 

The good neighbour who doesn't own this property is using the ladder to reach and cut the dead tree

click pic for larger photo

 

The good neighbour cutting the dead tree off the Easement Road with the chainsaw he borrowed.
Neighbor is cleaning up the tree across the road and needed a ladder to do it.
click pic for larger photo

 

Top of the dead tree hung up in another tree

click pic for larger photo

 

Here you can see where the dead tree was cut and it doesn't look that rotten half way up the tree trunk.
Pieces of the dead beetle kill tree that were cut up.
click pic for larger photo

 

This is a portion of the middle of the dead tree trunk that doesn't look rotten or cracked at this point.
You can see the blue markings made by the pine beetle.

click pic for larger photo

 

This is the middle portion of the dead tree trunk as well, and it is cracked in this section.
Dead trees' trunk is cracked.

 

This is the bottom of the top section of the dead tree that was stuck in the live tree.
You can see the tree top is cracked in two places.  Dead trees tops are called widow makers, because the tops tend to break off possibly landing on an unsuspecting man making his wife a widow.

click pic for larger photo

 

It was a little scary driving under the dead tree because you didn't know if the live tree or the dead tree top would give way and drop the dead tree onto the vehicle making its way under.

On July 20, 2010 RDCO Parks Dept. said it can't do anything about dead trees on vacant properties.  Its not like we haven't heard this before in RDCO's minutes July 9, 2009, but now we are desperate.  So on July 20, 2010 we called the Ministry of Community and Rural Development and asked why RDCO cannot use RDCO Fire Prevention and Regulations Bylaw 1066 or Section 522 of the Local Government Act to have property owners remove dead and dying trees?  The Ministry of Community and Rural Development who we talked to named Michelle (250) 387-4313 said she would call back and let us know what she finds out.  If you wish to call Michelle yourself, it is not long distance if you call Enquiry BC 1-800-663-7867 and ask them to put your call through.  Enquiry BC will even help you decide what Government Dept. you would need to speak with.  Enquiry BC will ask you what city your from before they pass your call to the correct Government Dept.

West Kelowna BC has a "Good Neighbour" Bylaw that deals with dead trees RDCO could adopt.  Vernon BC also uses the "Good Neighbour" Bylaw.  Vernon and West Kelowna are not the only places to use the Good Neighbour Bylaw.  Looks like Abbotsford, Lions Bay and others also use the "Good Neighbour" Bylaw.

.pdf icon July 9, 2009 Regional District of Central Okanagan Governance & Services Committee Meeting Minutes (Pg. 3)

3.2 Chief Rene Blanleil, Regional Emergency Plan - Fire Preparedness (Verbal presentation)

Chief Blanleil provided a review of the region's fire preparedness as part of the Regional Emergency Plan including:

  • Council briefing has been completed in West Kelowna, Peachland and Kelowna. Lake Country will be done in the next few weeks.

  • Jason Brolund is the new regional emergency plan coordinator. New staff and volunteers have been added to the EOC.

  • The EOC is prepared to deal with an incident and ongoing training continues.

  • Recruitment was done this year for ESS (essential social service). New volunteers have been added (in total 66 people).

  • Neighborhood plans including evacuation routes are impacted by threats of fire. Exit or egress routes are part of plans. Evacuation routes change based on the type of incident. This work is done in the planning group.

There are challenging areas in the area ie: South Lakeshore, North Westside.

  • Fire Smart plan continues to be pushed within the region.

Discussion:

More ESS volunteers are needed throughout the region.

Difficulty with private property owners with 'fire smart' concerns. Cannot force a property owner to take down dead/dying trees-landscaping plants.

What education is being done to assist homeowners? Active work is being done to promote 'fire smart'. The fire department takes every opportunity to educate individuals on: campfires, careless smoking, covenants for wildfire protection.

EOC media group has a quick line to local media if required for consistent messaging.

Risk goes up very quickly with the rise of temperature. More fires this year (to date) than in 2003. Annual snowfall is down and rainfall is also down.

It was noted that consistency within the region and the valley regarding burning bylaws continues to be developed.

#GS54/09 BAKER/EDSON
THAT the Governance and Services Committee receive for information the region's fire preparedness report as part of the Regional Emergency Plan presented by Chief Rene Blanleil.

CARRIED

Blue Divider Line

GENERAL REVENUE FUND BUDGETS

2008 Air Curtain Burner Budget - 142 Regional Parks

2008 $100,000 General Capital Fund Budget page 58
2008 $500,527 Debt Payments
2009 $220,710 Increase transfer to reserves in 2009 with extra capacity re: debt.
2010 $220,710
2011 $220,710 General Revenue Fund Budget Short term debt on curtain burner ends.

Transfer to reserves for this portion of debt room resumes in 2009. Adding short term debt
payments for curtain burner $20,523 (moved funds from Forest Health line item to cover).

Blue Divider Line

June 28, 2010 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regional Board Meeting Audio (.wma)

regarding the North Westside Road Fireboat Request For Proposal.

Windows Media File Icon Fireboat.wma 4.91 MB
right click link to download .wma audio file

Windows Media File Icon Fireboat / OCP (.wma) - June 28, 2010

Blue Divider Line

Photos of the Langley Fire Truck before it was sold to North Westside Road Fire Rescue and after the new paint job.

Blue Divider Line

We will need an ICE BREAKER fire boat.

Winter 1983 was the last time that the Lake completely froze over. (A Royal Canadian Mounted Police helicopter successfully rescued an SUV that had tried to drive across the Lake and cracked through the ice).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelowna#History

Blue Divider Line

The Regional District of Central Okanagan was asked if a letter was sent to the Provincial Government by the Regional District of Central Okanagan in regards to the Terrace Mountain Fire on behalf of residents.  This below is the letter the Regional District of Central Okanagan replied with.  Some residents are still upset about Kash Heed the Attorney General of BC who we watched with horror on the news saying that outside help was not needed and if outside help was needed that a call for the help would go out.  It wasn't until residents were near evacuation or evacuated that a call for outside help went out.  There are many rumors, with one of the rumors saying that the fire was just small at first and that most of the resources were busy fighting the Rose Valley fire in West Kelowna which allowed the Terrace Mountain fire to eventually burn out of control evacuating residents for approx. two weeks.  The rumor is that the Terrace Mountain fire burn for a bit before it was attacked.  If that is true, it cost everyone a lot of money.  And the Regional District is not going to send a letter to the Province on behalf of its members (residents)?  okanaganlakebc.ca was evacuated and sent a letter to Kash Heed almost immediately after watching him on the news that day.

Letter dated May 3, 2010 from Regional District of Central Okanagan when asked about letter of concern sent to Provincial Government on behalf of residents who were evacuated by the Terrace Mountain Fire.

Blue Divider Line

West Kelowna getting new pumper truck
Castanet.net - by Wayne Moore - Story: 55732 - Jul 15, 2010

West Kelowna Council has approved spending nearly $600,000 for a new pumper truck for the district's fire department.

The new pumper truck will replace a 20-year-old truck which has exceeded its service life.

The contract was awarded to Safetek based out of Abbotsford.

Along with approving the purchase, council also asked staff to look into the possibility of purchasing a 2010 cab and chassis fitted with a pre 2010 engine.

West Kelowna Fire Chief, Wayne Schnitzler, says using a pre 2010 engine could further save the municipality between $15,000 and $20,000.

In the 2010 financial plan, West Kelowna Council budgeted $675,000 for the new pumper truck.

Chief Financial Officer, Jim Zaffino, says the $75,000 saved will remain in the equipment acquisition reserve.

The new truck is expected to be ready for delivery in about nine months.

Blue Divider Line

July 1, 2010 Smaller Campfires Now Required

New regulations were introduced July 1 limiting the size of legal campfires to 0.5 metres by 0.5 metres. More information found here. You can also download a poster listing all the new rules.

Blue Divider Line

Fire department suspensions too harsh?
by Castanet Staff - Story: 55582 - Jul 6, 2010

The Oliver Fire Department has been suspended.

The department as a whole will be facing consequences, including suspension, following the theft of several kegs of beer from a fire scene in May.

Following a fire that destroyed the Mesa Hotel in Oliver, several kegs of beer were removed from the scene and taken to the Oliver Fire Hall, where two of the kegs were tapped by fire department staff.

The incident was first reported to the municipal offices over a week later and the information was relayed to the Oliver RCMP.

In addition, a brief internal investigation resulted in suspension of two fire department members and planned suspension of a third.

Since the initial review of the matter, it has become apparent that involvement was not limited to three individuals.

Rather, several fire fighters were involved in varying degrees.

Because this incident resulted from a general lapse in judgment on the part of the department rather than the isolated actions of two or three individuals, the initial suspensions have now been repealed.

Instead, the Fire Department will collectively face the following consequences:

Public letter of apology that was placed in the May 23 edition of the Oliver Chronicle

A two-week suspension for each fire fighter, to be administered on a rotating basis and

Removal of all unlicensed alcohol from the fire hall property.

“The Oliver Fire Department does a great job, and deserves the ongoing support and trust of the community,” says Mayor Pat Hampson.

“I am absolutely convinced that the above measures imposed in response to the beer removal incident will ensure that such an unfortunate, collective lapse of judgment will not recur.”

Acting Fire Chief Dan Skaros says they have worked with Town council and administration to arrive at discipline measures that will have their desired effect, while still allowing them to provide reliable fire suppression services to Oliver area residents and businesses.

Blue Divider Line

Fire hall welcomes new truck into fold
Vernon Morning Star - June 26, 2010

Officials anticipate a new fire truck will enhance public safety.

Vernon’s fire department received a new $700,000 emergency vehicle Monday, and it can perform a number of functions including fire suppression, motor vehicle incident response and difficult rescues.

“This new engine rescue design provides our firefighters with increased effectiveness by having a multi-purpose capability,” said chief Jeff Carlisle.”

The truck, which is expected to be in service for 20 years, replaces the aging engine 83 that is beyond its life cycle as a frontline emergency response vehicle.

“Our firefighters respond to a wide variety of emergency situations and this new vehicle provides them with the means and tools necessary to get the job done safely,” said Mayor Wayne Lippert.

“In addition, engine 83 will be deployed to Predator Ridge as part of the Predator Ridge volunteer fire service initiative.”

Also new at the Vernon fire hall are three new dispatchers for emergency calls.

While the dispatch system previously used firefighters, there will now be dedicated communications operators.

Mayor Wayne Lippert said the change is part of council’s commitment towards a safe community.

”It is important that we place the utmost priority when it comes to our emergency response system, and this change in staffing structure for fire dispatch is an excellent step forward.”

Blue Divider Line

Plan would give volunteer firefighters tax break
Vernon Morning Star - June 08, 2010

Fire departments across Canada are urging the federal government to give volunteer firefighters a tax break.

The Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs and the Canadian Volunteer Fire Services Association are leading a campaign to ease the tax burden on the nation’s “volunteer” firefighters, asking they be provided with a tax incentive allowing those who have performed at least 200 hours of service in a year to deduct $3,000 from their taxable income from any source.

Jack Blair, Columbia-Shuswap Regional District fire services co-ordinator, notes the term volunteer is a something of misnomer.

“The word volunteer is a little overused. They’re paid-per-call firefighters,” he said.

Blair says there are no fire departments in the CSRD that are truly volunteer.

They all receive some type of remuneration, “be it $10 an hour, or simply a dinner at the end of the year.”

“Under the eye of the law, it’s all deemed as an honorarium,” says Blair.

“And since all firefighters are covered under WCB, that alone is classified as a form of payment. So some firefighters will make $1,000 in wages perhaps, depending on how many calls they attend, where others might make $3,000 a year.”

Salmon Arm fire chief Brad Shirley says he welcomes any incentive to paid-on-call firefighters. As does Sicamous fire chief Brett Ogino, who says the deduction might also go a long way to boost recruitment at departments.

“From a chief’s perspective, it’s a recruitment tool,” says Ogino.

“It shows support for fire departments in general. But also, it creates an incentive that, “hey great, I can save some tax money too.”

Blair says the fire chiefs association has brought the proposal before the federal government on numerous occasions but it always seems to get tabled.

Okanagan-Shuswap MP Colin Mayes, a former volunteer firefighter himself, says he is sympathetic with the cause, but adds it would not be a wise policy decision.

“Firefighters get paid for training days, and for responding to fire calls, and most often they get good compensation for their work,” said Mayes.

“If the government of Canada extended this tax benefit to fire fighters, why not to first responders, auxiliary police, community watch, and even to other paid volunteers?”

Mayes says if firefighters believe they should be compensated at a higher rate, the request should be made to the communities they serve.

Meanwhile, opposition and federal Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff has pledged to support the $3,000 tax credit to firefighters, noting how before they put on the uniform, volunteer firefighters go through hundreds of hours of free time towards training.

“Not only are you on call around the clock, but there are also times when you put your life at risk to keep your friends and neighbours safe,” says Ignatieff in a written response to the associations.

Currently, firefighters may earn up to $1,000 without deductions.

Blue Divider Line

May 8, 2010 The North Westside Road Fire Rescue had the "Get out alive" trailer at Fintry Festival of the Falls.

North Westside Road Fire Rescue "Get out alive" trailer May 8, 2010

Blue Divider Line

WARNING !

FYI Fire Chief Wayne Carson was found driving down okanaganlakebc.ca's private easement road on Feb 9, 2010 in his bush truck.  He said he was checking out access.  FYI most easement roads are private property, and so should Fire Chief Wayne Carson be permitted to drive up everyone's private driveways whenever he feels like it, so he can snoop on your property?  Apparently okanaganlakebc.ca's easement is not the only easement he was seen driving down and that he was at Westshore Estates easement road as well.  We told Fire Chief Wayne Carson that we don't want him on our private property (easement), and then he told us to call the cops if we don't like it.  Well our easement is muddy right now and the less traffic the better.  We as property owners of the easement are the ones to look after it.  Its not like the Fire Chief can't see our easement from the paved public road.  The same day this happened, we wrote a letter to RDCO asking that Fire Chief Wayne Carson stay off our private property (easement road) unless invited on business.  Fire Chief Wayne Carson crew did a rescue down okanaganlakebc.ca's easement road a few years back, so its not like it can't be accessed, and its not like the Fire Dept doesn't know about its access.  Wayne Carson was just wasting gas in our opinion.  Does Fire Chief Wayne Carson or anyone else have the right to make you snow plow or clear your easement if you don't want to?  Wouldn't Rescue require a snow plowed easement to do a rescue if that was the only access?  Where was Fire Chief Wayne Carson when our easement wasn't snow plowed for the entire year a couple years back?  We question what the Fire Chief is up to!  We question if the Fire Chief can insist that you clear better access along your easement road when it is private property?  Can the Fire Chief demand that an easement road be open on each end because there is only one way in and one way out.  We question if the Fire Chief wasn't just snooping, and what is he up to?  After the Terrace Mountain Fire you would think the Fire Crew would know the subdivisions like the back of their hand!

FIRE CHIEF WAYNE CARSON AND CREW... okanaganlakebc.ca REQUEST THAT YOU STAY ON PUBLIC ROADS AND OFF MY PRIVATE EASEMENT ROAD WHICH IS MY PRIVATE PROPERTY UNLESS INVITED.

If there is a next time, we will call the cops.  You have been here twice now that's enough.

The easement document says each of the respective dominant tenements, their successors in title, the owners and occupiers for the time being. The easement document does not say Fire Chiefs can use this Valley of the Sun easement road whenever they feel like it.  How many trips down okanaganlakebc.ca easement road does the fire crew have to take anyway?  Why did it take two trips?  Were you not just wasting gas?  I don't see you driving up everyone else's private driveways, so why should you drive up mine?

This is page 2 of 5, of the documentation.
Page 2 of 5 - Valley of the Sun - Registered Easement Road
This document does not mention fire chiefs and fire crew does it?

Blue Divider Line

From Ministry of Forests

Photos of the Western Spruce Budworm

Photos of the Tussock Moth

Western Hemlock Looper (no photo)

Fir Cone Worm

Crimson erineum mite
The red color on a maple leaf

Blue Divider Line

Embracing the new reality
Kelowna Capital News - By Judie Steeves - April 09, 2010

Tolko’s woodlands manager, Murray Wilson, says the Terrace Mountain wildfire burned so hot the soils now can’t absorb rainfall because they’re bereft of organic material, so there are concerns about slides with runoff. Wildfires and beetle kill are just some of the climate change impacts the company is dealing with.  Photo

Kelowna city manager Ron Mattiussi is confident the city is well-positioned to deal with climate change, but he questions whether its residents are.

“I believe we know what we need to do; the question is whether the community does,” he told a group of forestry professionals during a panel discussion entitled “Climate’s changing, things are happening in our watershed—Are we ready for it?”

For instance, he says the city is trying to wean its citizens off using so much water, but he’s not confident they’re going to fully embrace the new xeriscaping standards.

“We’re already getting pushback,” he said.

“We’re doing drought management plans. The question is, is society ready to change? Change hurts. Being comfortable is easier,” he added.

He gave the Okanagan Basin Water Board full marks for doing such great work, and said he is glad to now have scientific data available to show where the Okanagan basin is at in terms of water availability and the demand for it.

Tolko’s woodlands manager, Murray Wilson said the company operates on 765,000 hectares in the Okanagan, of which 140,000 hectares are in 28 watersheds, involving 1,600 separate water licences.

Last year’s Terrace Mountain forest fire impacted 10,000 ha in Tolko’s tree farm licence, he told delegates to the annual meeting of the Association of B.C. Forest Professionals.

He said it was such a significant burn that pine trees simply disintegrated, and the soils left behind are so hydrophobic that even when it’s raining, you can kick up the duff layer with your foot. The moisture doesn’t soak in.

That’s a real concern because of the potential for slides, particularly on some of the steep slopes that were burned, he said.

While he says they can’t control the impacts on riparian areas, they have gone in and put in larger pipes under roads.

The impacts of mountain pine beetle in their operating area is not new, even though this is the most devastating cycle ever seen in this province because warmer winter weather has failed to control their numbers in recent years.

He noted they have taken steps to reduce the impact of dead pines by minimizing roads, increasing the drainage control on road systems, enlarging stream buffer zones and planting.

More tree patches and single trees are left behind to help stabilize logged areas, he said, and in some areas spruce and balsam is being left behind.

However, he predicted that water issues will increase as a result of climate change and the impacts of the massive infestation of pine beetles.

Pine beetles are probably the greatest impact we’ll see from climate change in the short term, commented hydrologist Don Dobson.

That’s expected to result in more water running off more frequently and faster, with the massive losses of forest cover.

He wondered whether stream crossings are adequate for higher flows, and he warned there will be an increased risk of wildfire with the forest full of huge fuel loads of dying pine and warmer temperatures.

There are questions about whether the hydrology of the watersheds will behave as predicted, he said.

There hasn’t been much research, and there are not nearly enough hydrometric stations in place around the Okanagan basin to monitor stream flows, he said.

“We need the data to manage the resource,” he commented.

jsteeves "at" kelownacapnews.com

Blue Divider Line

Smoke alarm rule draws praise
Vernon Morning Star - By Richard Rolke - March 30, 2010

Support for tough new smoke alarm rules is coming from Vernon’s fire department.

As of May 1, the B.C. Fire Code will require smoke alarms be installed in all homes and motel and hotel rooms constructed before 1979.

“It further stresses the importance of having smoke alarms,” said Lawrie Skolrood, Vernon’s deputy fire chief.

“Early warning brings an emergency to the attention of people and they have time to get out.”

There are about 800,000 homes in B.C. constructed before 1979.

Owners of such buildings can install battery-operated smoke alarms, rather than connecting smoke alarms to the buildings’ electrical system.

Affected homeowners should contact their municipality or fire department to bring their buildings up to code by May 1.

But Skolrood says the department won’t be infringing on private property.

“We won’t be going into people’s homes to check for smoke detectors but we will be encouraging people to install them,” he said.

Beyond installation, Skolrood insists there is a need for residents to ensure smoke detectors are in good operating condition and batteries are replaced regularly.

“It’s about continual education and reminding people,” he said.

Presently, buildings built after 1979 are required to have smoke alarms.

The new law, according to the Ministry of Housing, will increase public safety and awareness, helping to reduce the health risks and property damage caused by fire in older buildings.

“Smoke alarms do save lives,” said Skolrood.

Blue Divider Line

City wants out of dispatch
Vernon Morning Star - By Richard Rolke - February 13, 2010

Pressure is being placed on its regional partners to let the City of Vernon out of an emergency response program.

Council is writing the North Okanagan Regional District and all of the local municipalities for permission to leave the fire dispatch service.

“We need to do this for our own purposes and liabilities,” said Mayor Wayne Lippert.

Lippert says the current regional function — which is contracted out to the city to provide — does not meet technological standards for large cities.

“We need to go through these upgrades,” he said.

Council has previously been told by staff that much of the existing equipment, including radios, are 15 to 20 years old and the lack of reliability creates a public safety risk.

If the city establishes its own dispatch function, it’s hoped the other North Okanagan communities will participate through a fee for service.

“The members around the NORD table are really looking at this,” said Coun. Patrick Nicol.

Lippert believes that a city function would be enhanced while not increasing costs for the other communities. But he says they can consider other service options to meet the needs of their jurisdictions.

“They’re not beholding to the City of Vernon. This gives them something to look at so they can consider options,” he said.

The city wants to hear back from the other jurisdictions by Feb. 28 and it hopes to withdraw from the regional dispatch function by Dec. 31.

Blue Divider Line

Map of the North Westside Road Fire Protection Local Service Area.

.pdf icon RDCO's Map of Fire Protection Boundaries

Fire Protection Bylaws

Fire/Community Hall agreement

Blue Divider Line

RDCO Engineering Services is responsible for fire protection and the Regional Rescue programs it says on the engineering webpage of RDCO's website.

RDCO's website lists who is responsible at RDCO for Fire Services

The Governance and Services Committee is responsible for 911 Service and Emergency Planning

Blue Divider Line

Volunteer Fire Fighters are paid firefighters.

Confusion is setting in regarding the meaning of volunteer, as we thought volunteer meant service without pay!

RDCO communications co-ordinator says this information is not on RDCO's website but that the pay ranges from $15 to $25 per hour, minimum two hour callout, depending on rank…firefighter receives the lower pay rate, chief the higher.

Blue Divider Line

November 12, 2009 - Apparently the fireboat is not a dead issue
and RDCO will be bringing it back to the table.

Blue Divider Line

Don't have your 911 call end like this one (.wmv movie file type)

Blue Divider Line

Selective logging reduces risk at forest interface
Kelowna Capital News - January 14, 2010

To the editor:

The people from Joe Rich need to consider the following.

There appears to be significant concern over past forest harvesting practices, some justified and some simply misguided due to the lack of understanding what a woodlot license is.

Once a woodlot license is awarded, a “management working plan” must be prepared and input sought from people who may be impacted by the proposed harvesting.

That is the time for public input into how and where harvesting occurs.

Well planned “selection” harvesting will provide for maintaining and enhancing biodiversity, wildlife values, water quality, view scapes, interface issues, recreational values, carbon storage, and clean air.

I know these are all just buzz words to most people, but if you want to see how this process works, I would be more than happy to take you out to Woodlot #411 to show you how a forest can look after 27 years of applying this form of management.

There is no better way to address the “interface fire hazard” issue at little to no cost to the taxpayer, than through careful selection harvest with thinning from below.

It is much more productive to “propose” rather than to “oppose” any development. You can oppose a woodlot in your area and miss the opportunity to have the forest harvested under a different approach. It will result in turning the area over to the major tenure holders to produce the status quo of conventional timber harvesting techniques that has led to the significant concerns in the first place.

Or you can work with the woodlot licensee to develop a forest that we can all be proud of.

George Delisle, Westbridge

Blue Divider Line

Q - When were the big fires in this area?

There have been two major wildland fires in recent years. Both started in the area of Valley of the Sun.

The 1992 fire was started by a spark from a Department of Highways mower that landed in the tinder dry forest. The fire burned across the road and down to the lake between the Fintry campsite and the small community to the north.

In 1998, the second wildland fire in two years started in this tinder dry community. A wildfire was burning in the area of Valley of the Sun.  This was a particularly active fire season and there were many fires burning in the area. When the smoke settled, the rank 5 to 6 forest fire consumed 125 hectare - 300 acres of forest land and one home.

source: North Westside Road Community News June 2009

Now a third fire, the Terrace Mountain Fire just occurred approx. July 19 2009.

Blue Divider Line

We read in the agenda or minutes of the RDCO meetings somewhere that RDCO thought they couldn't force property owners to clean up beetle killed trees from their yards.  You would think that this piece of legislation would do it?

Local Government Act
[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 323
This Act is Current to December 16, 2009

Part 15 — Specific Regional District Service Powers

Division 3 — Fire Protection

Special fire protection powers

522 (1) Subject to the Fire Services Act and the regulations under it, a board may, by bylaw, do one or more of the following:

(a) authorize the fire chief to

(i) enter on property and inspect premises for conditions that may cause a fire, increase the danger of a fire or increase the danger to persons or property from a fire,

(ii) take the measures described in the bylaw to prevent and suppress fires, including the demolition of buildings and other structures to prevent the spreading of fire, and

(iii) exercise some or all of the powers of the fire commissioner under section 25 of the Fire Services Act, and for these purposes that section applies;

(b) require the owners or occupiers of real property to remove from a building or yard anything that, in the opinion of the fire chief, is a fire hazard or increases the danger of fire;

(c) if property is endangered by debris caused by lumbering, land clearing or industrial operation, require the person who is carrying on or who has carried on the operation, or the owner or occupier of the land on which the debris exists, to

(i) dispose of the debris, and

(ii) undertake any other actions for the purpose of removing or reducing the danger

as directed by the bylaw or by the fire chief;

(d) deal with any matter within the scope of the Fire Services Act in a manner not contrary to that Act or the regulations under it.

(2) The authority of the fire chief under a bylaw under subsection (1) may be exercised by a person under the authority of the fire chief or by another person designated in the bylaw.

Blue Divider Line

These are actual tax rates that were copied off North Westside Road actual rural property tax notice for fire only.

2012 tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value = 0.8470 (draft budget says .8035)
2011 tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value = .7875 Fire Truck Referendum ended after 2010
2010 tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value = 0.7883 + $52.40 Fire Truck Referendum
2009 tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value = 0.7372 + $52.40 Fire Truck Referendum
2008 tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value = 0.7594 + $52.60 Fire Truck Referendum
2007 tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value = 1.0779 + $52.65 Fire Truck Referendum
2006 tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value = 1.2542 + $52.62 Fire Truck Referendum
2005 tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value = 1.4082 Fire Truck referendum started in 2006
2004 tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value = 1.4075
2003 tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value = 1.4095
2002 tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value = 1.2899
2001 tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value = 1.1702
2000 tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value = ??????
1999 tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value = ??????
1998 tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value = 0.7654

Land and building assessed at $350,000 would have cost
2010 rate was 0.7883 = $275.91 + $52.40 ref. = $328.31
2009 rate was 0.7372 = $258.02 + $52.40 ref. = $310.42
2008 rate was 0.7594 = $265.79 + $52.60 ref. = $318.39
2007 rate was 1.0779 = $377.27 + $52.65 ref. = $429.92
2006 rate was 1.2542 = $438.97 + $52.62 ref. = $491.59
2005 rate was 1.4082 = $492.87
2004 rate was 1.4075 = $492.63
2003 rate was 1.4095 = $493.33
2002 rate was 1.2899 = $451.47
2001 rate was 1.1702 = $409.57
1998 rate was 0.7654 = $267.89

Blue Divider Line

There are 2,136 parcels within the North Westside Fire Service Area contributing to the fire department a June 25, 2008 RDCO email says.

This document below was requested through the Freedom of Information Act

Shows how many parcels in the North Westside Road Fire Protection Local Service Area in the years 2006 - 2009

Blue Divider Line

This may not be correct, but this is how the finances for the North Westside Fire Protection Service Area would play out if this was the scenario:

2006 = 495 Ridgeview plus 1602 North Westside Road parcels = total 2097 parcels,
so 2097 parcels x say a $300,000 property or (300 as in per thousand) = 629,100 x 1.2542 tax rate = $789,017 that the RDCO may have collected in rural property tax plus the $52.62 referendum for the fire truck x 2097 parcels = $110,344
plus there was Ridgeview Garage and Equipment $22,000
TOTAL = $921,361

2007 = 495 Ridgeview plus 1626 North Westside Road parcels = total 2121 parcels,
so 2121 parcels x say a $300,000 property or (300 as in per thousand) = 636,300 x 1.0779 tax rate = $685,867 that the RDCO may have collected in rural property tax plus the $52.65 referendum for the fire truck x 2121 parcels = $111,670
plus there was Ridgeview Garage and Equipment $22,000
TOTAL = $819,537

2008 = 495 Ridgeview plus 1629 North Westside Road parcels = total 2124 parcels
so 2124 parcels x say a $300,000 property or (300 as in per thousand) = 637,200 x 0.7594 tax rate = $483,889 that the RDCO may have collected in rural property tax plus the $52.60 referendum for the fire truck x 2124 parcels = $111,722
plus there was Ridgeview Garage and Equipment $22,000
TOTAL = $617,611

2009 = 500 Ridgeview plus 1632 North Westside Road parcels = total 2132 parcels
so 2132 parcels x say a $300,000 property or (300 as in per thousand) = 639,600 x 0.7372 tax rate = $471,513 that the RDCO may have collected in rural property tax plus the $52.40 referendum for the fire truck x 2132 parcels = $111,717
plus there was Ridgeview Garage and Equipment $22,000
TOTAL = $605,230

Blue Divider Line

.pdf icon RDCO's preliminary tax rates for 2009-2013

2009 preliminary budget tax rate for North Westside Road Fire Department .06965
click document to read the rest of it.
2009 preliminary tax rate for North Westside Road Fire Department .06965 (found on page 8)

Actual tax rate copied off North Westside Road actual rural property tax notice.
2009 tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value = 0.7372 + $52.40 Fire Truck Referendum

Blue Divider Line

REMEMBER THIS?

Re: Ceasars Landing Fire August 1, 2006

Kelowna resident Cody Schofield says he saw flames moving away from an old TV set in the bush.

Source Castanet.net -
http://www.castanet.net/edition/news-story-20818--search.htm

Hear castanets interview with Cody Schofield
http://www.castanet.net/content/1154474179ody.mp3

Blue Divider Line

Facts about Disaster Financial Assistance

In 2005, the Province increased the DFA eligibility amount for replacement or restoration from $100,000 to $300,000. Financial assistance is provided for each accepted claim at 80 per cent of the amount of total eligible damage that exceeds $1,000, to a maximum limit of $300,000.

Blue Divider Line

ASHES STILL BURNING TWO DAYS LATER apparently ignited this fire

Dumpster fire caught in time
by Castanet Staff - Story: 51580 - Dec 18, 2009

Residents of a home in Lakeview Heights had good fortune on their side after a dumpster on their property caught fire Friday morning.

West Kelowna Fire Rescue Assistant Chief, Darren Lee, says residents of the home discovered the fire about 8 a.m. and used a fire extinguisher and garden hose to keep the fire at bay until crews arrived.

"When crews arrived, they found a fire in a large disposal bin that was located against a single family home," says Lee.

"West Kelowna firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the fire."

Lee says the fire was caused by improper disposal of ashes from a wood burning fireplace.

"The ashes were two days old, but they still contained enough heat to ignite a smouldering fire. If it were not for the residents discovering the fire while leaving for work, the situation could have been much worse."

Luckily, says Lee, there was no damage to the home.

West Kelowna Public Fire and Life Safety Educator, Debbie Dupasquier, says there are safe ways to dispose of ash from fireplaces and wood burning stoves.

"Allow ashes to cool before disposing in a tightly covered metal container, which is kept at least 10 feet away from the home and any other nearby buildings," says Dupasquier.

Blue Divider Line

Blue Divider Line

.pdf icon Regional District of Central Okanagan 2009 - 2013 Financial Plan (116 pages)

Financial Plans for all years

a. Five year $50 parcel tax ends.
b. Subject to community, committee and Board approvals.
c. Replace Engine 101.  Subject to Technical Advisory Committee and Board approvals.  Chief would like to Spec & Order truck in 2010.  Timing and final amounts subject to review by Technical Advisory Committee and Board.
d.  Plan to replace 10 sets of turn-out gear a year for four years to comply with NFPA Standards for length of service and safety.
e. Addition of second washroom, upgrade shower facilities, add living quarters, move existing office and storage area.
f.  In 2014, replacement of engine required $300,000.  Airpack replacements also estimated at $70,000.

 

North Westside Road BC Fire Rescue Dept.
North Westside Road Fire Rescue 2009 Budget
click budget to read larger print

Volunteer Fire Dept LIVING QUARTERS final budget approval was March 27, 2009.

March 27, 2009 Regional Board Agenda

.pdf icon Item 1.5 2009 - 2013 Financial Plan Bylaw.pdf

.pdf icon March 27, 2009 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regional Special Board Meeting Minutes

Blue Divider Line

Blue Divider Line

Regional District of Central Okanagan Bylaws

North Westside Road Fire Protection Service Area Amendment Bylaw No. 1126, 2005 - Amends Bylaw No. 548 Fire Truck Referendum

North Westside Road Fire Protection Service Area Amendment Bylaw No. 908, 2000 - Amends Bylaw No. 548 Extend the Boundary to include La Casa maybe??

North Westside Road Fire Protection Local Service Area Establishment and Expansion Amendment Bylaw No. 899, 2000 - Amends Bylaw No. 548 Provide for a Medical First Responder Program

North Westside Road Fire Protection Local Service Area Establishment and Expansion Bylaw No. 548, 1993 - Converts Bylaw No. 310 - Amended By Bylaw No. 899, 908 & 1126 Boundary extension to include large parcels at Valley of the Sun

North Westside Road Temporary Borrowing Bylaw No. 313, 1986 borrow $150,000 Fintry to Westshore

North Westside Road Fire Protection and Loan Authorization Bylaw No. 310, 1986 - Repeals No. 84 borrow $150,000 Fintry to Westshore

Killiney Beach Specified Area Establishment and Loan Authorization Bylaw No. 84, 1974 - Repealed By No. 310 - Just for fire protection at Killiney Beach and not other subdivisions

1. The Regional Board is hereby empowered and authorized

(1) to establish in Electoral Area "G" a specified area defined as follows and to be known as the Killiney Beach Specified Area" and such area shall be comprised of that tract of land as set out in Appendix A, attached to and forms part of the by-law.

(2) to undertake and carry our or cause to be carried out and provide fire protection equipment in and for the said specified area and to do all things necessary in connection therewith.
(a) to borrow upon the credit of the Regional District a sum not exceeding $5,000.
(b) to acquire all such fire protection equipment as may be necessary.

Blue Divider Line

What do you pay more for, your property and contents insurance each year, or your property taxes, for fire protection?

Wonder what home insurance would cost without any fire dept?

Wonder what the average cost is of the homes lost in the North Westside Fire Dept Service Area say over 20 years, compared to what the cost was for the whole fire dept. buildings and equipment, etc?

Blue Divider Line

How are two paid members at a hall going to meet NFPA 1710?
Vernon would clearly need to hire an additional two members to the Landing fire hall, at an additional cost of $1,000,000 per year to all of the taxpayers of Vernon to meet the guidelines (based on 10 personnel required to cover a 24/7 shift, with benefits).

May 6, 2009 Vernon Morning Star letters article - How are two paid members at a hall going to meet NFPA 1710?

Blue Divider Line

March 1, 2009 Freedom of Information Requests, requesting financial information regarding the North Westside Road Fire / Rescue Dept.

Blue Divider Line

FIREBOAT/ BOATHOUSE - LETTER FROM RATEPAYERS ASSOCIATION NOV. 18, 2008

more about the Fire Boat

Blue Divider Line

In 2008 one property owner on Okanagan Lake paid $5,284.00 in property taxes, which $888.00 of this was for fire protection.

Blue Divider Line

Do Westsider's want a full time Fire Dept?

The Okanagan Landing Volunteer Firefighters Association, A Non Profit Society wants you to know ... How much has the dual response to the landing already cost the Vernon taxpayers for absolutely no benefit? Was that a smart business decision by Vernon Fire Chief Carlisle? The Okanagan Landing Fire Hall has 65 calls a year on average, only one or two are actual fires and none have been a problem in 34 years. Do you think we should pay over $680,000 a year to have people at the landing fire hall full time?
The Okanagan Landing Volunteer Firefighters Association, A Non Profit Society wants you to know ... How much has the dual response to the landing already cost the Vernon taxpayers for absolutely no benefit? Was that a smart business decision by Vernon Fire Chief Carlisle? The Okanagan Landing Fire Hall has 65 calls a year on average, only one or two are actual fires and none have been a problem in 34 years. Do you think we should pay over $680,000 a year to have people at the landing fire hall full time?

 

The Okanagan Landing Volunteer Firefighters Association, A Non Profit Society wants you to know ... In 1993 annexation of Okanagan Landing, council of the day could see that it was too costly to put full time firefighters in the Landing hall. The call volume has not changed and building is better, why does Chief Carlisle think we should incur these costs today?
The Okanagan Landing Volunteer Firefighters Association, A Non Profit Society wants you to know ... In 1993 annexation of Okanagan Landing, council of the day could see that it was too costly to put full time firefighters in the Landing hall. The call volume has not changed and building is better, why does Chief Carlisle think we should incur these costs today?

 

The Okanagan Landing Volunteer Firefighters Association, A Non Profit Society wants you to know ... Using Vernon Fire Chief Carlisle's figures of $680,000 per year to man the hall with 2 men 24 hours a day 7 days a week the Okanagan Landing Volunteer Firefighters have saved the taxpayers over $23 Million dollars since inception 34 years ago. Do you think we should stop saving? If this fire plan is for Vernon as a whole, why is the push to the Landing only? This does nothing for the other areas of Vernon like the Foothills and Blue Jay subdivision except up their cost to protect the Landing. Are the people in those areas being told the whole story?
The Okanagan Landing Volunteer Firefighters Association, A Non Profit Society wants you to know ... Using Vernon Fire Chief Carlisle's figures of $680,000 per year to man the hall with 2 men 24 hours a day 7 days a week the Okanagan Landing Volunteer Firefighters have saved the taxpayers over $23 Million dollars since inception 34 years ago. Do you think we should stop saving? If this fire plan is for Vernon as a whole, why is the push to the Landing only? This does nothing for the other areas of Vernon like the Foothills and Blue Jay subdivision except up their cost to protect the Landing. Are the people in those areas being told the whole story?

$32.52 per year

Blue Divider Line

June 25, 2008 2:30 PM email from the Regional District Communications Coordinator says:

There are 2,136 parcels within the North Westside Fire Service Area contributing to the fire department.

Blue Divider Line

Beardsell lashes out at budget ‘sham’
Vernon Morning Star - By Richard Rolke - Published: March 31, 2009

Barry Beardsell didn’t disappoint his supporters as he savaged the City of Vernon’s proposed 2009 budget Monday.

Before a crowd of more than 70 at city hall, the former councillor used a public input session to pounce upon the document, questioning the figures included within it and the actions taken by present council.

“This budget is a sham and disgusting, and what you are trying to do is not fair to taxpayers,” he said.

The proposed tax increase for the average home is 1.99 per cent but Beardsell says that doesn’t take into account changes in the fire levy in Okanagan Landing or the impact of increased costs at the North Okanagan Regional District.

“Nobody has the guts or the nerve to do anything about it,” he said.

Beardsell says funding grants to non-profit groups could have been cancelled this year, and he questions the need for 11 new employees.

“You have been hiring people like they’ve been going out of style,” he said of the $700,000 cost.

The one new position that came under attack was a transportation demand management co-ordinator for $87,100 a year. That individual would seek alternatives to people driving vehicles.

“This position will do nothing good because people have to go to work or shopping and in Vernon, most of us can’t do it by cycling or walking,” said resident Nathaniel Royko.

Merchant Jeff Wuolle complained about the increase in taxes and how it impacts businesses like his.

“What gives you the opinion that council is immune and isolated from the worldwide recession?” he said.

There were also concerns that the change in the fire protection levy and taxing vacant land will hit Landing residents particularly hard.

“The 1.99 per cent tax increase is being done on the backs of the Landing and I don’t think that’s fair,” said Pat Lett.

But there was also support for the budget, including having residents in the Landing and the rest of the city taxed the same for fire protection.

“We need to have everyone in the city paying similar rates and they are entitled to receiving similar levels of service,” said Randy Noonan. “We have to pay taxes that are in keeping with a modern city.”

Despite considerable opposition to the budget, Coun. Jack Gilroy defends the document, and particularly hiring more staff.

“We are thinking of the citizens. We need these positions to make the city work,” he said.

However, Coun. Patrick Nicol wants the budget reviewed again.

“The message is loud and clear. People want us to reassess what we are doing.”

Blue Divider Line

Numbers don't add up
Vernon Morning Star - Published: March 10, 2009

There is a phrase that Vernon city councillors are trying to tell the citizens of Okanagan Landing: HICA (Here It Comes Again).

Some of the city councilors owe the Landing citizens a public apology for trying to pull the wool over their eyes in the latest no-thought decision on fire taxation.

Stating that the Landing has been free loading to the tune of $489,693 in services is crap.

In fact the taxes collected from the Landing area for fire rescue services are reflective of the actual costs of the service that is being offered by a volunteer fire hall in the Landing and administration costs of the downtown hall.

It is time to put our thinking caps on and remember the statement made by previous fire chief John Lysholm.

He said that the First Medical Responder (FMR) would not cost the taxpayers any extra. In fact it was a way to enhance medical response, with the ambulance service, and keep the downtown firefighter contingent busy in between other calls.

The costs to run the FMR program are approximately $20,000 per year. How does council come up with a number that says the Landing residents have been getting $362,136 worth of free FMR service a year? The numbers are presented in a way that helps them make a decision, that’s how.

The presentation to council to help decide on the taxing of fire rescue services shows a cost of $1,574,093 for FMR, how is this possible for a no-cost service? It is not possible.

This cost will not go away if the service is no longer offered. The cost is part of the cost of running a fully-manned fire hall no matter what type of emergency they are responding to. Landing residents have not been freeloading.

In 1993, when the Landing became part of the city of Vernon, the council of the day was bright enough to see the savings in keeping the volunteer fire rescue services and taxed the Landing residents accordingly.

The move by the current council to tax the Landing the same as the rest of the city of Vernon for fire rescue service has done nothing more than open the door for millions of dollars in increased fire costs over the next few years to all the taxpayers of Vernon.

The increase will be required to bring the Landing the same fire rescue service as the rest of the City of Vernon, a fully-manned hall.

Or is it again one of those things we pay equal tax on and don’t get, like sidewalks, streetlights, and wastewater services? Vernon city council, it is time to take a stand and realize what you have in the Okanagan Landing Volunteer Fire Hall. It is a great service and huge tax savings to the citizens of Vernon.

Landing residents contact your council and express your concerns about the latest move to integrate taxation.

Most homes in the Landing are above average assessment so the integration will cost Landing residents dearly. Speak up now or HICA.

Mike Pennock

Blue Divider Line

Doesn't add up
Vernon Morning Star Published: March 20, 2009

As an Okanagan Landing resident, a City of Vernon taxpayer, and a former 11-year member of the Okanagan Landing Volunteer Landing Fire Department, I am very concerned with attempts to place full-time union firefighters in our volunteer fire hall.

Ever since the Landing was annexed into the City of Vernon, the fire department has wanted to place full-time union firefighters in the Landing Hall.

As this would have been a huge expenditure for miniscule, if any, improvements in fire service, it has never been supported by Landing residents or city council.


Now VFD has a new fire chief and a former VFD deputy chief on council, and this push is on once again.

Thanks to the last Vernon fire chief, we now have VFD members acting as First Responders on ambulance calls (mainly because they wanted to give firefighters more work to do on their shifts, as fire calls were so infrequent).

Vernon residents are now picking up the tab for a provincial responsibility.

That there is now a move to expand this service by placing VFD members in the Landing Hall is financially irresponsible.

The ratio of full-time members needed for every firefighter at a station is 5:1.

To station a minimum of two VFD members at OK Landing Hall would mean hiring 10 new union firefighters.


At a rate of pay equal to Vancouver firefighters (as arbitrated during the Mayor McGrath era), this would put Vernon taxpayers on the hook for a low estimate of $800,000.

And this is just the first step in a plan to place a skeletal crew of four full-time union members in the Landing Hall.

Over $1.5 million for basically the same fire service currently being provided by OKLVFD.

Even during a boom economy, this would not be a rational decision.

Dan Dueck

Blue Divider Line

Why is a floater pump or other type pump better than a fire boat?

Well hardly ever is a rescue boat needed on Okanagan Lake as there are many boaters available most times.  Plus there is the Okanagan Landing and Westside Rescue Boats that are available.

Time is of the essence.  An already in place floater pump or other type pump with a pipe up from the lake or from a pond will make the response time quicker than a fire boat that needs to be manned and placed in the water before it can even leave for the scene.  An already in place pump needs less preparation time and can be locked up with metal bars like a jail.  Anyone living close could be given a key so they can maybe push the pump into the water (if the pump can be stored on rollers and on shore in a locked house) and turn the pump on if they are shown how to use the pump.

Valley of the Sun and Upper Fintry have no water utility whatsoever and other utilities may not be able to supply enough water for even a house fire as has been the case in the past at Lower Fintry.  The 3 subdivisions with no water system including no hydrants whatsoever need fire protection now, as the proposed water utility for these subdivisions will not be in place for almost 3 years yet.  Even then will the water utility be able to supply enough water for adequate fire protection having reservoirs that only hold so much water?

If there is a house fire the Fire Dept can't just put lake water into the potable water lines because they would contaminate the system and the system would need to be disinfected.  The Fire Dept may use the potable water line in case of major fire though. 

Later we can work towards putting in an extra pipe around the subdivisions for irrigation and fire protection purposes after the pumps are working good and pumping water to the subdivisions where the fire trucks can get at the water.  An adequate water supply seems to be our biggest problem.  We could sprinklers on our homes if we had a pump that could do it?

A fire boat will only slow the progress of working towards an adequate water supply.  We don't need the boat... we only need the pump!

More about the fire boat

Blue Divider Line

Firefighters respond
Vernon Morning Star - Published: March 27, 2009

The Vernon Professional Firefighters Association would like to respond to letters and other recent articles with some factual information about why it’s time for full-time fire protection in Okanagan Landing.

Contrary to what has been printed in the local paper a number of times in the last few weeks, Vernon Fire Rescue has participated in pre-hospital care by assisting the highly skilled B. C. Ambulance Paramedics with their protocols when requested, thousands of times since the early 1980’s.

It was on BCAS’s recommendation that Vernon city council approved our full participation in the First Responder program. Since then, our department’s role in pre-hospital care has been more clearly defined by way of the guidelines set out in the First Responder program and we have continued to try to affect a positive outcome to some unfortunate emergencies every day here in Vernon. In cardiac emergencies for example, irreversible brain damage begins in as little as four to six minutes after circulation stops, and studies have shown that the chances of survival decreases seven to 10 per cent for each passing minute of delay in intervention. An expedited response made possible by full-time firefighters clearly provides our department a better opportunity to assist paramedics in saving lives.

The reality is whether it’s a fire or medical emergency, public safety is all about getting the best-available resources on scene as quickly as possible.

The current debate surrounding the Okanagan Landing firefighters being disbanded has no merit. In this particular case, career and volunteer firefighters (Vernon and Okanagan Landing volunteers) would be working co-operatively together to improve response times to the Okanagan Landing residents and other areas of the city (Foothills, Predator Ridge) that fall short of industry standards and accepted response time performance targets identified in Vernon fire chief Jeff Carlisle's business plan.

Obviously, the Vernon Volunteer Firefighters Association, the Okanagan Landing Volunteer Firefighters Association and the Vernon professional firefighters have a storied history and should be proud of their respective contributions towards a safer community over the years.

The professional firefighters of Vernon are interested only in improving on the current fire service delivery model with an eye on continuous improvement to all citizens of Vernon.

If there is an emergency in Vernon, we are ready to respond even if that includes going past any imaginary boundary put in place by the politicians of the day, that is why all of us joined the department, to help people.

The current system of two segregated fire departments within the same municipal boundary is not only unheard of anywhere else in our province but is also divisive and flawed. In other words, we should all be on the same team working towards meeting response time targets no matter what neighbourhood you live in.

Having one fire department with one set of training standards, one set of operational guidelines will allow for improved resource deployment capabilities and also improved fire fighter safety.

Obviously, volunteer firefighters play a pivotal role in any fire service but saying that a volunteer station can provide an equivalent level of service to a career or composite hall is not backed up by facts. Advocating otherwise goes against all data collected to date by the National Fire Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the experts in fire service standards North America wide.

We welcome the city’s examination of this issue and in the name of public and firefighter safety we would also welcome any changes that help us serve our community better.

Hopefully, as the debate over fire protection unfolds in the coming weeks, the residents of Vernon and city council will look at these kinds of facts and make informed choices.

We cannot let emotions or the sheer desire to preserve the past get in the way of finally modernizing the fire service here in Vernon.

When it comes to public safety, the stakes are simply too high.

Brent Bond, president
Local 1517 IAFF

-------------------

Comment by Cyberlots

Can't the ambulances get money from the government to do their job? Why do firefighters now become our ambulance??? Ambulances should be the first responders ... and how does that work that firefighters get to the scene first? I do not agree that fire fighters should be the first responders. Our government needs to get its shit together and stop trying to pass the buck! If the ambulance worked the way it should, then we wouldn't need fire fighters as ambulances. I believe we need a proper ambulance service instead! And why do some people have to live 45 minutes to the nearest medical station? Shouldn't there be smaller community stations?

Blue Divider Line

Search unit challenges new firefighting model
Vernon Morning Star - By Richard Rolke - Published: January 30, 2009

Vernon Search and Rescue is concerned that proposed changes to how fire departments operate could be costly and put the public at risk.

A Fire Services Liaison Group has developed recommendations for reforming B.C.’s fire service, but Search and Rescue claims that could see firefighters moving into activities traditionally provided by volunteer units such as itself.

“If we already have rescue services in place through a system that costs very little, why would we duplicate it with a system that costs a lot?” said Don Blakely, a Vernon SAR search manager.

After looking at the FSLG report, Blakely believes fire departments could have the legal authority to provide rescue services and to go beyond their municipal boundaries.

“These two recommendations put them in direct conflict with what we do as Search and Rescue,” he said.

Presently, Search and Rescue units across the province receive their direction from the RCMP and the B.C. Ambulance Service, and Blakely says all units have access to resources and can call in other units for assistance if needed.

There are about 60 volunteers involved with the Vernon unit.

If the changes were to proceed, Blakely fears that a small fire department would go into the bush on a rescue call and leave their community at risk if there was a fire.

“What happens then? The question of dual tasking is a serious one?” he said.

The FSLG report indicates that volunteer recruitment and training for fire departments is a challenge, so Blakely wonders why they would take on more duties.

“They are seeking to expand their mandate when they admit they can’t meet the needs of their existing mandate,” he said.

The City of Vernon has asked for clarity on the costs of the potential changes, and they want protection for Search and Rescue units and volunteer firefighters.

“I want to ensure the language is secure for Search and Rescue and their mandate,” said Coun. Mary-Jo O’Keefe.

“If the language is vague and they feel threatened, that’s not a positive.”

However, Vernon’s own fire chief downplays the negative impact of the report on Search and Rescue.

“I don’t see this as an erosion of their role,” said Jeff Carlisle

The FSLG, which is funded by the Office of the Fire Commissioner, involves key stakeholders such as the Fire Chiefs’ Association of B.C., the Fire Prevention Officers Association of B.C., the Fire Training Officers Association of B.C., the B.C. Professional Firefighters Association and the Volunteer Firefighters Association of B.C.

Stephen Gamble, a member of the FSLG steering committee and a Port Coquitlam fire chief, says a new model for service delivery is being looked at because there hasn’t been a review for 30 years.

“The structure needs to be brought up to modern times,” he said.


In terms of the concerns from Search and Rescue, Gamble says they will be discussed but they are unfounded.

“It was our intent to never go outside any other service that firefighters provide. We are not looking at Search and Rescue,” he said.

Gamble says some of the confusion may come from the use of the word rescue, but that refers to medical First Responder and vehicle extraction.

“I’m not aware of anyone that wants to go that direction (SAR). It’s a different group of skill sets,” he said.

Carlisle is looking forward to seeing where a final report takes fire services in B.C.

“There will be a lot of benefits to the city if this was initiated,” he said of training levels for volunteer firefighters, bulk orders on equipment and records tracking.

Blue Divider Line

History page 51-52

The Regional District entered into a written Mutual Aid Agreement between all fire departments as well as the North Okanagan and Okanagan-Similkameen Regional Districts. There is also a similar agreement in place between the Regional District and the Ministry of Forests. With the expansion of boundaries of the City of Kelowna in 1973, Benvoulin and Okanagan Mission Fire Departments were taken into and operated by the City of Kelowna. In the early years there was also an attempt made by the provincial government to amalgamate the Lakeview and Westbank Fire Protection Improvement Districts. A number of meetings were held at that time between trustees of the improvement districts, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and the Regional District; however, the proposal was not acceptable and was therefore not implemented.

Blue Divider Line

History Page 58

Fire Protection is another significant area of responsibility in the Engineering Services Department. It has grown significantly since 1990, as we look towards expanding local rural departments to provide protection to unprotected lands and continue to expand levels of service. Inclusion of the Westside Fire Protection in 2005, as a regional function, recognizes fire protection under the authority of the Regional District for almost all of the unincorporated areas.

Blue Divider Line

There are 2,136 parcels within the North Westside Fire Service Area contributing to the fire department a June 25, 2008 RDCO email says.

March 1, 2009 we requested information through the Freedom of Information Act to help fill out this chart below, and to see what exactly has been received and spent on the North Westside Road Fire / Rescue Dept.

The only problem is that we can't find the actual spending figures on RDCO's website.

Blue Divider Line

Regional District of Central Okanagan
Five Year Program Budget Projections & Actual
General Revenue Fund Budgets

023 - North Westside Volunteer Fire / Rescue Department


* Budget Projections figures are coloured green

* Actual figures are coloured red

Source of this Table

 

2004-2008 2005-2009 2006-2010 2007-2011 2008-2012 Preliminary
2009-2013
Revenue            
PEP Comp. & Sundry Sales (47,172) -- -- -- --
(806)
--
Tax Requisition - Electoral (233,000) (297,300) (344,500) (427,258) a --
--
--
Tax Req - Ea Cent Ok. West -- -- -- -- (421,228)
(421,227)
(423,015)
Parcel Tax (Fire Truck Referendum??) 0 0 (105,700) a (106,150) a (106,150)
(106,150)
(106,150)
Previous Years Surplus / Deficit (219) 0 (62,144) (40,727) (48,209)
(48,209)
(23,247)
Administration Overhead 18,972 22,696 21,616 22,710 18,551
18,551
18,972
MFA Cash Reserve Refund -- -- -- -- (998) --

Total Revenue

(261,419) (274,604) (490,728) (551,425) (557,036)
(558,839)
(533,440)
             
Expenses            
Operations 199,079 216,157 b 235,175 b 275,275 b 294,960 a
273,516
303,555
Debt Payments 13,911 0 c 0 -- --
--
 
Transfer to Reserves 48,429 0 192,553 a 106,150 a 112,076
112,076
134,385
Transfer to Capital -- 58,447 a 63,000 170,000 a 150,000
150,000
95,500

Total Expenses

261,419 274,604 490,728 551,425 557,036
535,592
533,440
             
(Surplus) / Deficit 0 0 0
40,727
0
48,209
0
(23,247)
0
             
FTE's -- -- -- -- 1.00
--
1.00
             
Tax Levy            
Tax Requisition (233,000) (297,300) (344,500) (427,258) (421,228)
--
(423,015)
Residential Tax Rate
(per $1000 of assessment)
1.3371
1.4075
1.3355 a
1.4082
1.1917 c
1.2542
1.0241
1.0779
0.7216
0.7594
0.6965
 
Maximum Tax Rate 1.3392 1.3379 -- 1.3500 1.3500
--
1.3500
Parcel Tax 0 0 (105,700) a (106,150) (106,150)
--
(106,150)
Parcel Tax Rate 0.00 0.00 50.00 a 50.00 49.98
--
0.00

Blue Divider Line

Regional District of Central Okanagan
Five Year Program Budget Projections
General Capital Fund Budgets

023 - North Westside Volunteer Fire / Rescue Department

* Budget Projections figures are coloured green
* Actual figures are coloured red

Source of this Table

  2004-2008 2005-2009 2006-2010 2007-2011 2008-2012 Preliminary
2009-2013
Revenue            
Sale of Assets -- -- -- -- --
(6,000)
--
Capital Financing (104,684) 0 0 -- -- --
Transfer From Reserves (60,316) (21,553) 0 (170,000) (215,000)
(81,206)
(150,000)
Transfer From Revenue Fund -- (58,447) a (63,000) (170,000) (150,000)
(150,000)
(95,500)

Total Revenue

(165,000) 80,000 (63,000) (340,000) (365,000)
(237,206)
(245,500)
             
Expenses            
Trucks 165,000 d 80,000 d 63,000 d 200,000 d, f 215,000 b
227,943
0
Stn 101 Renovations -- -- -- -- --
9,263
50,500 b, e
Security Up-Grade -- -- -- -- --
0
20,000
Turn Out Gear -- -- -- -- --
0
25,000 d
Marine Fire Boat -- -- -- -- 120,000 c
0
120,000 a
Boat House -- -- -- -- 30,000 c
0
30,000 a
Hall Renovation -- -- -- 140,000 --
--
--

Total Expenses

165,000 80,000 63,000
65,776
340,000
146,848
365,000
237,206
245,500
             
(Surplus) / Deficit 0 0 0 0 0
0
0
             
Reserve Fund Balance at Y/E (22,076) 0 (215,110)
215,431
(152,490)
331,103
(230,501)
(374,622)
(363,499)
 

NOTES:

------------------------------------------------------------------------

2004-2008

a. Parcel Tax to be proposed in referendum.
b. $30,000 of equipment purchases for 2004 are not necessary in 2005. Additional operating costs for new firehall and trucks (see also 027 - Ridgeview) are included.
c. Debt for new truck.
d. In last year's financial plan, the proposal was to go to referendum to increase the maximum tax rate to $1.60 and add a parcel tax of $50.
Based on funds placed in reserves this year, the current maximum tax rate can be maintained, but the parcel tax would still be required if a truck is to be purchased mostly for cash in 2008 (with a small amount financed if necessary.)
e. Subject to review by Fire Chief's Committee, Engineering Committee and Board.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

2005-2009

a. Tax rate kept near maximum, with difference going to capital / reserves.  Subject to review by Westside Issues Committee. Could be reduced Yr. 6.
b. Payroll increase due to paying a 2 hour minimum on all incident calls, and increasing practice payroll to maintain attendance levels ($2.50 per practice).  Additional firehall utility / operational costs, and costs for new truck operations.
c. debt finished
d. Snuffer Truck purchased in 2004 and Water Tender proposed in 2005.  Proposing to purchase one used 1500 gallon truck.  This is subject to approval by the Technical Advisory Committee, Engineering Committee, and Regional Board.
e. A 5 year $40 Parcel Tax to be proposed in referendum or petition, Needs approval first.  First 3 years would go to reserves / capital to pay for 2008 truck purchase.  The remaining 2 years would pay off short term debt financing with any residual amount going to reserves.
f. In last year's financial plan, the proposal was to go to referendum to increase the maximum tax rate to $1.3371 and add a parcel tax of $50.
g. Subject to review by Technical Advisory Committee, Engineering Committee, and Board.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

2006-2010

a. A 5 year $50 Parcel Tax was passed by referendum to build reserves for equipment purchases.
b. A request for the chief to become full time has been made and is under review.  Equipment cost have increased.
c. Tax rate for 2006 is $1.19 as requested by Westside Directors in March 24th Budget Meeting, with any excess going to reserves.  The Community Association had requested that tax rate only be reduced to $1.19 from last year's rate of $1.33.
d. $48,000 for Water Tender - used 1500 gallon truck carryover of purchase from 2005, and $15,000 for equipping Bush Truck subject to receipt of gaming grant.
e. Replace Tender 101 as identified in Equipment Replacement Schedule. Subject to review by the Technical Advisory Committee, Engineering Committee, and Board.
f. Replace Pumper 101 as identified in Equipment Replacement Schedule.  Subject to review by the Technical Advisory Committee, Engineering Committee, and Board.
g. Timing and final amounts subject to review by the Technical Advisory Committee, Engineering Committee, and Board.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

2007-2011

a. As requested by community representatives, the tax rate has been dropped as planned and reserves built for future equipment purchases so that financing is not required.
b. Increases: Payroll $20,500 (standardization of payroll rates, and overhead now applies for chief becoming full-time). Firefighter recognition $5,000, Equipment $5,000 CGI Study $5,000, Training $3,000.
c. While high growth is likely, due to La Casa, the estimates are conservative for future years to illustrate that even without this growth, the tax rate will continue to come down, and any excess can be transferred to reserves.
d. Replace Tender 101 as identified in Equipment Replacement Schedule.  Subject to review by Technical Advisory Committee, Engineering Committee, and Board.
e. Replace Pumper 101 as identified in Equipment Replacement Schedule.  Subject to review by Technical Advisory Committee, Engineering Committee and Board.
f. Timing and final amounts subject to review by Technical Advisory Committee, Engineering Committee, and Board.
g. Replace Engine 101.  Subject to review by Technical Advisory Committee, Engineering Committee, and Board.

---------------------------------------------------------------------
2008-2012

a. Payroll increases for responders ($10k), and vehicle operations ($4.5k), and other small amounts.
b. Replacement for Tender 101 was ordered in 2007, and is to be delivered in 2008.
c. Subject to community, committee and Board approvals.
d. Replace Pumper 101 as identified in Equipment Replacement Schedule.  Subject to review by Technical Advisory Committee , Engineering Committee and Board.
e. Timing and final amounts subject to review by Technical Advisory Committee, Engineering Committee and Board.
f. Replace Engine 101.  Subject to review by Technical Advisory Committee, Engineering Committee and Board.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

2009-2013 Preliminary

a. Five year $50 parcel tax ends.
b. Subject to community, committee and Board approvals.
c. Replace Engine 101. Subject to Technical Advisory Committee and Board approvals.  Chief would like to Spec & Order truck in 2010.  Timing and final amounts subject to review by Technical Advisory Committee and Board.
d. Plan to replace 10 seats of turn-out gear a year for four years to comply with NFPA Standards for length of service and safety.
e. Addition of second washroom, upgrade shower facilities, add living quarters, move existing office and storage area.
f. In 2014, replacement of engine required $300,000.  Airpack replacements also estimated at $70,000.

 

Exhibit 2 (Note* this table is showing only a portion of this fund)
Regional District of Central Okanagan
General Revenue Fund
Statement of Revenue and Expenditure

For the year ended December 31

Source of this Table

  2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Revenue            
Electoral area tax requisitions 9,787,781 10,655,505 14,825,533 16,402,369 This information will come when the 2008 financial statement is released  
Electoral area parcel taxes 655,472 696,109 837,441 897,199    

 

2009 Preliminary Budget
North Westside Road Fire Dept.

ADD A SECOND WASHROOM, UPGRADE SHOWER, AND LIVING QUARTERS?
Station 101


click budget document above to read the whole document on RDCO's website

(from page 16 of the budget above)
a. Five year $50 parcel tax ends (remember the 5 year Fire truck referendum)
b. Subject to community, committee and Board approvals. (Station 101 living quarters)
c. Replace Engine 101. Subject to Technical Advisory Committee and Board approvals. Chief would like to Spec & Order truck in 2010. Timing and final amounts subject to review by Technical Advisory Committee and Board
d. Plan to replace 10 sets of turn-out gear a year for four years to comply with NFPA Standards for length of service and safety.
e. Addition of second washroom, upgrade shower facilities, add living quarters, move existing office and storage area. ($50,500 in 2009 projected budget and $49,500 2010 projected budget = $100,000)
f. In 2014, replacement of engine required $300,000. Airpack replacements also estimated at $70,000.

Blue Divider Line

Councillors take sides over firefighting plan
By Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star - Published: March 10, 2009

The prospect of integrating fire halls in Vernon is fuelling a raging debate.

Council was presented with a business plan Monday that calls for the Okanagan Landing fire hall to come under the administration of the Vernon hall. And while no official decisions have been made, some politicians are already taking positions.

“I’m thinking about the safety of the citizens,” said Coun. Jack Gilroy of the plan to have two unionized firefighters stationed at the Landing hall, with volunteers still actively involved in fighting blazes.

“There are areas that need faster response.”

When Okanagan Landing was annexed into Vernon in 1993, the city entered into a contract with the volunteer-based Okanagan Landing Fire Department Association to provide fire suppression services there. The hall continues to function separately from the Vernon hall.

Gilroy is convinced integration will benefit the volunteers because they will be able to tackle fires throughout Vernon.

“They will be responding to more calls than ever before,” he said.

However, there is some opposition to the proposal.

Coun. Mary-Jo O’Keefe says future growth may ultimately lead to changes at the Landing hall, but she insists that’s not currently necessary.

“Right now, the Landing guys are giving great service,” she said.

Mayor Wayne Lippert isn’t willing to commit himself yet to the business plan.

“We’ll study what’s been presented and when it comes back to council, we will have to make a determination of what options we will want to take,” he said.

“It needs to be discussed more because there are some answers the chief still needs to provide.”

In presenting the business plan, Vernon fire chief Jeff Carlisle says the Landing volunteers would continue to provide a valuable service.

“There’s no move in this five-year plan to close the Landing station,” he said.

If the changes occur, two unionized firefighters at the Landing hall would take the truck to a fire and the volunteers would meet them there instead of having to go to the hall first. Carlisle says that would greatly reduce response times.

He also points out that some of the highest property values in the city are in the Landing.

“We need to put some enhancements in those residential and suburban areas,” said Carlisle.

Ed Forslund, Okanagan Landing chief, supports parts of the plan like standardized training, but he is against having his association not operating the hall.

“At this point with the economy and the call volumes, it doesn’t require putting paid guys in the hall,” he said.

“If you have two people sitting there and waiting for the alarm to go off, they can get the truck out faster. But when you do an assessment of our calls and attach a cost to it, it doesn’t make financial sense. It (volunteer hall) is a substantial cost-saving to all taxpayers in Vernon.”

The business plan also calls for a volunteer hall to be opened at Predator Ridge and for substantial upgrades to the fire dispatch program.

Blue Divider Line

Directors see red over firefighting plan
By Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star - Published: March 05, 2009

A plan to change how fire protection services operate in B.C. has some local politicians fuming.

The North Okanagan Regional District is upset with a proposed new model for the delivery of firefighting in B.C. put together by a group of stakeholders in the fire protection profession.

“The report was put together with no consultation from elected officials who will be funding it,” said Eric Foster, NORD chairman.

“This could cost us a tremendous amount of money.”

The Fire Service Liaison Group, which is funded by the Office of the Fire Commissioner, involves key stakeholders such as the Fire Chiefs’ Association of B.C., the Fire Prevention Officers Association of B.C., the Fire Training Officers Association of B.C., the B.C. Professional Firefighters Association and the Volunteer Firefighters Association of B.C.

In a recent interview, a member of the FSLG steering indicated that a new model for service delivery is being looked at because there hasn’t been a review for 30 years.

“The structure needs to be brought up to modern times,” said Stephen Gamble, Port Coquitlam fire chief.

Greg Betts, NORD’s administrator, says he and his counterparts across B.C. are looking at the initiative and there is a concern that it doesn’t reflect rural interests.

“This approaches it that the province is an urban environment,” said Betts.

Vernon Search and Rescue is also concerned that the report could lead to firefighters moving into activities traditionally provided by volunteer units such as itself.

“We need clarification that it won’t impact our local Search and Rescue,” said Mary-Jo O’Keefe, an alternate Vernon director to the regional district.

However, Gamble has stated that the plan is not for firefighters to go into Search and Rescue duties.

“I’m not aware of anyone that wants to go that direction (SAR). It’s a different group of skill sets,” he said.

NORD wants the report on the new model for the delivery of fire services to be the subject of a full policy discussion by the Union of B.C. Municipalities and reviewed by the Local Government Management Association prior to implementation.

--------------------------------

This North Westsider is seeing red over having to spend $100,000 for living quarters at our local North Westside Road Volunteer Fire / Rescue Dept.. Is it for the volunteers who live here locally to be able to stay at the firehall and now we have pay them for sleeping at the firehall when they live almost at the firehall? I question why living quarters are required. I would like to see more money spent on subdivisions water systems out here so that they have enough water to put out a fire. The last Fintry Delta house fire they apparently ran out of water. The last three home fires were pretty much total losses! I want a sprinkler system for my house ... but we don't even have a water system ... but we are going to have a volunteer fire dept with living quarters???? Wonder where the fire dept is going to get the water from??? Apparently they couldn't take water from the lake for the Fintry Delta house fire from what I understand.

There is still time to dispute the volunteer fire dept LIVING QUARTERS if North Westsiders head down to the Budget review meeting March 19, 2009 at Regional District of Central Okanagan office in Kelowna or write a letter to RDCO. Final budget approval is March 27.

Blue Divider Line

RDCO has responsibility over the Fire Chief
This is only a portion of the bylaw.  If you wish to read the whole of Fire Department Operative Bylaw No. 414, 1990.

Blue Divider Line

Community Charter
[SBC 2003] CHAPTER 26
This Act is Current to December 23, 2009

Part 3 — Additional Powers and Limits on Powers

Division 7 — Authority in Relation to Trees

Restrictions in relation to authority

50 (1) A bylaw under section 8 (3) (c) [spheres of authority — trees] that is in relation to the protection of trees does not apply to the following:

(a) land and the trees on it if forestry practices on the land are governed by a tree farm licence, permit or other authority or tenure under the Forest Act;

(b) land and trees on it if section 21 of the Private Managed Forest Land Act applies to the land;

(c) tree cutting or removal that is undertaken by a utility, on land owned or held by the utility, and done for the purpose of safety, maintenance or operation of the utility's infrastructure.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), if a bylaw under section 8 (3) (c) would have the effect on a parcel of land of

(a) preventing all uses permitted under the applicable zoning bylaw, or

(b) preventing the development to the density permitted under the applicable zoning bylaw,

the bylaw does not apply to the parcel to the extent necessary to allow a permitted use or the permitted density.

(3) A bylaw referred to in subsection (2) applies without limit to a parcel if the council, by resolution, commits the municipality to

(a) pay compensation to the owner of the parcel for any reduction in the market value caused by the prohibition, or

(b) provide, by development permit, development variance permit or otherwise, alternative means for the parcel to be used for a permitted use or developed to the permitted density.

(4) For the purposes of subsection (3),

(a) the compensation must be as determined and paid as soon as reasonably possible in an amount set by agreement between the owner and the municipality or, if no agreement is reached, by the Supreme Court, and

(b) the council may issue a development permit or development variance permit on its own initiative without an application from the owner.

Compensation not payable
51 Except as provided in section 50 (3), no compensation is payable to any person for a reduction in the value of any interest in land that results from

(a) a bylaw under section 8 (3) (c) [spheres of authority — trees], or

(b) the issue or refusal of a permit required under such a bylaw.

Right to reconsideration by council

52 If a council delegates powers, duties or functions in relation to its authority under section 8 (3) (c) [spheres of authority — trees], the owner or occupier of real property that is subject to a decision of a delegate is entitled to have the council reconsider the matter.

Blue Divider Line

Local Government Act
[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 323
This Act is Current to December 23, 2009

Part 8 — Special Powers Relating to Property

Division 2 — Municipal Forest Reserves

308 Cutting and removal of timber

Cutting and removal of timber

308 (1) Without limiting section 8 (1) [natural person powers] of the Community Charter, a council may cut, sell, remove or otherwise dispose of any timber or other products from a municipal forest reserve.

(2) An agreement between a municipality and a person for the cutting and removal of timber from a municipal forest reserve must

(a) provide that only selected trees may be cut,

(b) provide for the protection of young growth and other trees and timber, and

(c) provide for protection from fire.

Blue Divider Line

Westside District Council highlights
Castanet.net News Story 43392 - by contributed - Nov 27, 2008

Pine Beetle Tree Removal - The District will begin removing 550 trees in municipal parklands that are infested with Mountain Pine Beetle. The District received a grant for $98,500 from National Resource Canada for its Hazard Tree Removal Program. The infested trees represent a hazard to the public and timely removal is important. The District will issue a contract for the removal of the infested trees with the project expected to begin in December with completion by end of March 2009. Council requested staff provide a report on the disposal methods of these infected trees.
The District will also pursue opportunities to partner with Westbank First Nation on this and future pine beetle projects. Staff will make a presentation to Council in January 2009 on the impacts of the beetle within District boundaries.

Blue Divider Line

Temporary shelter approved
By Jackie Pearase - Vernon Morning Star - Published: November 18, 2008

Pinnacle Pellets Armstrong will be allowed to construct a temporary storage shelter providing it satisfies two requirements of council.

The city recently approved a development permit for a temporary structure to store loose wood fibre such as wood chips and sawdust.

While the planning department has concerns about the location of the structure, which will straddle two lots, council is more concerned about improving air quality and safety at the site.

Coun. Ryan Nitchie said members of the planning and development committee and the public are concerned about particulate in the air from the wood fibre.

“Our staff feel this may be a possible solution to that,” he noted.

The entire council table concurred with Nitchie.

“I think the concerns of our planning staff were more technical in nature and we are more concerned about solving the problem at the site,” said Coun. John Trainor.

The storage shelter will help alleviate the particulate problem because the wood fibre will no longer be stored outdoors.

Council will issue the permit providing the applicant signs a covenant stating that the structure will be removed should Pinnacle Pellets cease to operate and that privacy slating is installed on the existing fencing at the site.

Blue Divider Line

Dave Robertson has some good information here about burning and chipping beetle kill wood.

Wood Chipper at Westside Landfill - Photo

This is a link to Dave Robertson's website showing us various "Options to Dispose of Combustible Waste" with photos of a trench burner, air curtain burner and wood chipper. Did you know you can call Wayne Watson if you have combustible waste to get rid of? The wood waste is used for a bonfire for the kids in the winter. See Dave Robertson's website for more information.

http://www.rocdoc.ca/assets/pdf links/disposaloptions.pdf

Westshore Estates Fuel Modification - Dave Robertson's initiative was to make a fire break around Westshore Estates which is now either partially complete or complete (not sure just yet but am going to find out).

Dave Robertson demonstrates a Sprinkler System

Blue Divider Line


November 24, 2008 smoke from slash burning behind La Casa.

Sure are a lot of those airplane steaks in the sky it seems.

Blue Divider Line

The Report a Forest Fire number is 1-800-663-5555, or it can be found in the Province of B.C. "blue" pages under "forest ministry."

Blue Divider Line

Dave Robertson retires from the fire Dept.

Dave Robertson (15 retired senior fire dept member) has something to say about the North Westside Fire Rescue Fire Chiefs proposal for a fireboat.

Dave Robertson also has a FUEL MODIFICATION PLAN to prepare this community for wildfires, plus OPTIONS TO DISPOSE OF COMBUSTIBLE WASTE

Blue Divider Line

City feared being sued after 2003 fire, new report says
By Cheryl Wierda - Kelowna Capital News - Published: February 03, 2009

The threat of legal action against the city “ate” into the two-year window of opportunity to undertake actions to mitigate the impact of future wildfires following the Okanagan Mountain Park Fire in 2003, a new report indicates.

However, the report’s author also found that the city did still manage to work towards mitigating post-wildfire risks, noting for example, that city council support for dealing with the post-fire flood risk was actually very high.

In a new study called The Resilience of the City of Kelowna: Exploring mitigation before, during and after the Okanagan Mountain Park Fire, author Dan Sandink evaluated the measures taken by the City of Kelowna to mitigate the impacts of the 2003 fire and to prevent a repeat of such an event in the future.

In the report, he looks at, among other things, the impact of the fire on various city departments, the lessons learned from interface fires in other communities, the evacuation, government relief, the post-disaster window of opportunity and barriers and obstacles to the implementation of mitigation strategies.

In interviews with city staff, they indicated that the post-disaster window of opportunity, where the public and political interest in implementing wildfire mitigation measures is high, is two years.

However, a barrier to implementing new mitigative programs at the local level was the threat of litigation against the city by some insurance companies.

The threat created a culture of “conservative communications” within the city, staff told the report’s author.

“The threat of litigation and the resulting conservative attitude toward analysis and communication of the events of the OMPF existed for approximately two years after the OMPF,” wrote Sandink, manager of resilient cities and research at the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction.

“Interviewees indicated that this threat effectively ‘ate up’ the two year window of opportunity for the implementation of various mitigation strategies following the fire.”

However, Sandink added, municipal staff said the threat of litigation did not hinder the city’s efforts for mitigating post-wildfire risks.

Not long after the fire happened, the city spent approximately $2 million to deal with flood threats created by the fire—without the help of other levels of government, which was indicated as another challenge following the fire.

In the report, interview subjects suggested that the provincial and federal government should move toward more proactive disaster management assistance, rather than strictly focusing on preparedness, response and recovery.

For example, the author noted that a consultant determined that the use of building codes and standards was found to be an important factor in reducing fire risk in Kelowna.

Municipal staff, Sandink wrote, felt the province should work closer with the city to ensure that fire resistant building practices—which fall under the purview of the province—are enforced in wildland-urban interface areas.

Also highlighted in the report were Kelowna’s education efforts surrounding reducing fuel loads on properties in wildland areas that began as early as the 1990s.

Public interest increased significantly in the time following when the fire occurred, but has since dropped, the report indicates.

“Staff feared that over the long term, public and political interest in fuel management practices generally…and private property owner fuel management and FireSmart behaviour would wane, thus leading to an increased risk of fire,” wrote Sandink.

However, municipal staff generally believed that if Kelowna experienced a similar wildfire event in the next decade, the impact of the fire would be somewhat less severe.

“Respondents believed that their experience with the OMPF has increased their ability to quickly and effectively recover from all types of future hazards. Many of the processes that were established during the OMPF emergency situation…would lead to expedited recovery from future natural and non-natural hazard events.”

Sandink concluded the city was able to adapt to the barriers and obstacles it faced in their attempts to control wildland-urban interface fire hazards and said the city has employed many actions to manage wildfire risk—both before and after the 2003 fire.

cwierda "at" kelownacapnews.com

Blue Divider Line

Open Burning Season - September 26, 2008

Open burning season is slated to begin Wednesday, October 1st for those Central Okanagan property owners who are eligible to burn yard waste.

Those with properties greater than one hectare are allowed to burn outdoors, but only after receiving a permit from their local fire authority and only when both air and venting conditions are favourable. Farmers and large lot owners must also follow any regulations before lighting any fire. Under the Regional District of Central Okanagan and municipal fire bylaws, all permitted burning must be complete by April 30th however area fire chiefs may shorten or extend the burning season depending on the fire hazard.

Eligible property owners within the Central Okanagan East or the Central Okanagan West electoral areas may obtain a permit by calling the Regional District at 250-469-6223 (Long Distance Collect Calls are accepted) weekdays only between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, excluding holidays. All other eligible property owners must obtain a permit from their municipal fire department. Link to Fire Authority Contacts

Before lighting any approved fire, all property owners must call the Outdoor Burning Hotline (250-470-5155, Select 1, then 2). The Air Quality and Venting Indices must be good, before any burning begins. Under the Regional District Smoke Control Bylaw, creating nuisance smoke from open burning is not allowed in the City of Kelowna, the District of Lake Country, Westside District Municipality and the Central Okanagan East and West Electoral Areas or under the bylaws of the District of Peachland.

Violator’s could receive a fine or be charged with the cost of putting out the fire. Residents are encouraged to report anyone who is illegally burning on a non-burning day by calling the Kelowna Fire Department at 250-469-8577.

While property owners with smaller lots are not allowed to burn outdoors they are encouraged to take advantage of other options to dispose of their yard waste. The fall curbside yard waste collection program is underway and anyone may use the year-round free yard waste program at either the Glenmore or Westside landfills. Yard waste and pruning’s weighing up to 250 kilograms (550 pounds) and 20 centimetres or less in diameter may be dropped off for free at any time of the year. When transporting loads to the landfill, please make sure they are covered. Loads exceeding the maximum weight will be charged $25.00 per ton as long as the yard waste is separated from regular garbage. As well, a number of private companies offer wood chipping and grinding services or rent portable chippers.

Most of the burning permits that are issued in the Central Okanagan are for agricultural burning, which is allowed under Provincial Right to Farm legislation. However, farmers must also call the Outdoor Burning Hotline to ensure burning is allowed before starting any fire. The Regional Air Quality Program is working with farmers to encourage the use of the Agricultural Chipping Program as an alternate disposal method.

source: http://www.regionaldistrict.com/whatsnew.aspx

Blue Divider Line

Westside fire hall staffed 24/7
by Castanet Staff - Story: 42893 - Nov 3, 2008 / 9:30 am

A second fire hall in the District of Westside is now being staffed around the clock.

Fire hall #32, which primarily serves the Lakeview Heights and Casa Loma area, and provides back up for the West Kelowna Estates area, is now manned 24 hours a day by full-time firefighters.

“We are working hard to ensure our response times are consistent throughout the Westside Fire & Rescue service area,” says Fire Chief Wayne Schnitzler.

“This move will reassure the public in the area that Westside Fire & Rescue will be able to respond in a very timely manner.”

Previously, the station was supported by paid on-call firefighters. Paid on-call firefighters will continue to support the full-time staff in supplying the best fire response service to the public, says Schnitzler.

Blue Divider Line

4 Phone Calls to 911 Wasn't Enough???

RCMP make sense of mismanaged 911 calls
By Roger Knox - Vernon Morning Star - Published: November 07, 2008

Vernon RCMP now believe they have some answers in regards to a botched 911 call Halloween night that resulted in an Okanagan Landing home sustaining damage.

Working with the South East Dispatch Centre out of Kelowna, Vernon RCMP have reviewed the tapes of calls made to and from the communication centre around the times in question made by complainants Ken and Melanie Westgarde. The couple’s Canadian Lakeview Estates home off of Tronson Road sustained broken windows and home and vehicle damage caused by rocks thrown by unknown party-goers from a gathering next door.

The Westgardes told The Morning Star they made four calls to the RCMP’s non-emergency (after hours) number and 911 to complain about a noisy party.

“After a complete review of the calls, both received and dispatched that evening, it is the conclusion of the officer in charge of the Vernon detachment and the South East District Call Centre that there were a combination of events that happened to bring the residents of Tronson Road to call the local media,” said Vernon RCMP spokesman Gord Molendyk in a written statement.

Molendyk said the review shows the first call came to the centre as a 911 call about damage done to a vehicle as a result of a pumpkin being thrown. Vernon bylaw officers and a police officer were dispatched to the scene.

Within a very short time frame, other calls came in to the call centre about a loud party at the end of Tronson Road.

Molendyk said six calls were made to the call centre in relation to this party alone.

“The call taker and dispatcher thought the calls were all related, and the callers were describing just one party when, in fact, they were describing separate events,” said Molendyk. “They attached all the information to one complaint.”

Police officers on two occasions were informed that the party had died down, so they did not continue responding out to the area.

The Westgardes said vandalism and violence started to escalate around their property between 11:30 p.m. and midnight, and called the non-emergency line to ask to have an officer sent out. After hearing an explosion, and with rocks being thrown at them and their home, Ken Westgarde called 911 at 12:30 a.m. and asked to have officers immediately sent out. Nobody showed up, and nobody came, said the Westgardes, when they phoned the non-emergency line shortly after 2 a.m. to see if somebody was coming to investigate.

“Police did attend to the Tronson complaints but did not attend the Westgarde resident that evening, they only spoke to them by phone,” confirmed Molendyk. “When the Westgardes called at 2:07 a.m. to ask if the police were coming to look at the damage done to the residence, the watch commander advised that the police would likely attend in the morning if it was to only view damage done to the residence.”

The calls were part of 762 files generated to the call centre Halloween night.

The call centre services 670,000 residents and 50 police detachments in the South East District, ranging from Princeton to Lytton, to the Alberta border in the east, and the U.S. border in the south.

The Vernon detachment and call centre continue to review procedures around handling calls for service from the public so incidents like the one in Okanagan Landing do not occur in the future.

“We strive to provide the best service possible to the residents of the South East District of B.C.,” said Molendyk.

Blue Divider Line

House damaged after 911 call goes unanswered
By Roger Knox - Vernon Morning Star - Published: November 04, 2008

Vernon RCMP are looking for answers after a 911 call about an out-of-control Halloween night house party in Okanagan Landing never got dispatched to the Vernon detachment.

The result, which came after a series of complaints about the party, left one home with multiple damages after it was pelted with rocks by suspected party-goers at a neighbouring residence.

“It’s safe to say our officers have done inquiries in relation to all of the phone calls, and it would appear that the last phone call was never dispatched down to the Vernon detachment,” said Vernon RCMP spokesman Gord Molendyk. “We are definitely following up on this. We want to find out exactly what happened in relation to how these calls came in.

“We’ve asked for transcripts of the calls in relation to the complaints.”

According to Molendyk, police received a complaint of a noisy house party off Tronson Road in Canadian Lakeview Estates shortly after 11 p.m. Friday. Vernon bylaw officers, who work evening shifts and handle noisy party complaints, were sent to the house.

Molendyk said the bylaw officer told police the party was subsiding, and no police officers were sent out.

Ken and Melanie Westgarde, the homeowners whose home was damaged by vandals, say they placed four calls to RCMP.

Melanie Westgarde told The Morning Star that her husband made the first call at 10:30, saying a firecracker had hit their home, and an officer called back at 11:15 to see how the party was going, and informed the Westgardes that he would not be attending because of a busy Halloween evening, but would still try to send somebody out to the party.

Between 11:30 and 12, the violence started to escalade, and Ken Westgarde called the RCMP non-emergency line for the second time and asked to have an officer sent out. The Westgardes say no officer showed up at their door that they are aware of.

After hearing an explosion outside, and with rocks being thrown at their home, through their home and at them, Ken Westgarde called 911 at 12:30 and asked to have a police officer sent out immediately. None came out, say the couple.

By 2:15, the crowd had dispersed, and the RCMP were phoned again, at their non-emergency number. And Westgarde was told that nobody was going to come out.

“At the time, I was shocked,” said Ken Westgarde. “The biggest thing was I called 911, I got a hold of somebody. What happened after that I don’t know. The police never came out.”

Police did come out to the Westgardes home Saturday, but only because, say the couple, they had contacted CHBC TV news about the story.

Molendyk said the house party began as a small event with a limited number of guests. But, according to Molendyk, “about 50-60 uninvited individuals under the influence” showed up, and the homeowner would not allow them into the home. The visitors, said Molendyk, became agitated and that’s when problems picked up again.

The Westgarde’s home suffered several broken windows, and rock damage to a vehicle and his home’s stoneware.

The incident is not sitting well with the local detachment.

“We as the police department for this community take our service to the public very, very seriously,” said Molendyk. “We do not like to have anyone who calls 911 not to get service. We’d like to know the answer as to what happened.”

Criminal charges are unlikely, as Molendyk said police would have a hard time proving who was at the party and who threw the rocks.

This is not the first incident involving Vernon RCMP and an unanswered 911 call.

A Vernon woman is suing the local RCMP after she was beaten by her then-boyfriend in June 2004. She called 911 during her boyfriend’s attack on her, but police did not arrive until 90 minutes after her original call.

Blue Divider Line

Central Okanagan Regional District approved submission of an application to UBCM for Community Wildfire Preparedness plan funding.

Central Okanagan Regional District approved submission of an application to UBCM for Community Wildfire Preparedness plan funding
click article to read larger print

Blue Divider Line

Highlights of the Regional Board Meeting– October 27, 2008

Community Wildfire Preparedness
The Regional Board has approved submission of an application for funding to the Union of BC
Municipalities for preparation of a Community Wildfire Preparedness Plan. It’s envisioned that a region wide plan would be developed in order to complement similar existing wildfire preparedness plans developed for fire districts and by member municipalities and other stakeholders in the region. The goal would be to identify high priority areas within the Central Okanagan and enable those with plans to seek funding for prescriptions and treatments in order to protect communities against the possible threat of wildfires.

Blue Divider Line

The other major issue this month are Pine Beetle killed trees and the potential danger to the traveling public if they fall onto the road. Your Regional Board has requested the Ministry of Transportation remove danger trees within the road allowance, next to roads like the Westside Road. BC Hydro will also remove trees which pose a danger to their power lines. To better provide input to the Regional Board, I welcome helpful observations about danger trees. Additionally, you can call BC Hydro or the road maintainer (Argo in most areas) and notify them.

In our rural area the owners of the property with dead trees are responsible for having the dead trees removed. If you have trees endangering BC Hydro lines, give BC Hydro a call. Once notified, BC Hydro will ask for your permission to cut trees on your property should the trees be a danger to their lines.
http://www.edgson.ca/archives.htm#June

 

This is what okanaganlakebc.ca seen in the bush next to Valley of the Sun October 2008.  There is no local site to take tree debris larger than they take at the Sugar Loaf transfer station.

 

 

 

Blue Divider Line

Open Burning Season
Source - RDCO "What's new webpage" - September 26, 2008

Open burning season is slated to begin Wednesday, October 1st for those Central Okanagan property owners who are eligible to burn yard waste.

Those with properties greater than one hectare are allowed to burn outdoors, but only after receiving a permit from their local fire authority and only when both air and venting conditions are favourable. Farmers and large lot owners must also follow any regulations before lighting any fire. Under the Regional District of Central Okanagan and municipal fire bylaws, all permitted burning must be complete by April 30th however area fire chiefs may shorten or extend the burning season depending on the fire hazard.

Eligible property owners within the Central Okanagan East or the Central Okanagan West electoral areas may obtain a permit by calling the Regional District at 250-469-6223 (Long Distance Collect Calls are accepted) weekdays only between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, excluding holidays. All other eligible property owners must obtain a permit from their municipal fire department. Link to Fire Authority Contacts

Before lighting any approved fire, all property owners must call the Outdoor Burning Hotline (250-470-5155, Select 1, then 2). The Air Quality and Venting Indices must be good, before any burning begins. Under the Regional District Smoke Control Bylaw, creating nuisance smoke from open burning is not allowed in the City of Kelowna, the District of Lake Country, Westside District Municipality and the Central Okanagan East and West Electoral Areas or under the bylaws of the District of Peachland.

Violator’s could receive a fine or be charged with the cost of putting out the fire. Residents are encouraged to report anyone who is illegally burning on a non-burning day by calling the Kelowna Fire Department at 250-469-8577.

While property owners with smaller lots are not allowed to burn outdoors they are encouraged to take advantage of other options to dispose of their yard waste. The fall curbside yard waste collection program is underway and anyone may use the year-round free yard waste program at either the Glenmore or Westside landfills. Yard waste and pruning’s weighing up to 250 kilograms (550 pounds) and 20 centimetres or less in diameter may be dropped off for free at any time of the year. When transporting loads to the landfill, please make sure they are covered. Loads exceeding the maximum weight will be charged $25.00 per ton as long as the yard waste is separated from regular garbage. As well, a number of private companies offer wood chipping and grinding services or rent portable chippers.

Most of the burning permits that are issued in the Central Okanagan are for agricultural burning, which is allowed under Provincial Right to Farm legislation. However, farmers must also call the Outdoor Burning Hotline to ensure burning is allowed before starting any fire. The Regional Air Quality Program is working with farmers to encourage the use of the Agricultural Chipping Program as an alternate disposal method.

Blue Divider Line

Cities sign historic agreement
From Castanet.net - by Wayne Moore - Story: 41829 - Sep 16, 2008

Vernon Mayor, Wayne Lippert, says sometimes you just have to do something that 'makes sense.'

With that, Lippert joined three other Okanagan mayors in putting their names on an historic resource sharing agreement.

The Intermunicipal Agreement, signed in Kelowna Council Chambers Tuesday, will allow Kelowna, Vernon, Westside and Penticton to work together to share or craft bylaws of regional significance.

Chief Administrative Officers of the four municipalities have been working together for several months to shape the agreement, which will allow the communities to work together on such issues as affordable housing, transportation, sustainable development and global warming.

Kelowna Mayor, Sharon Shepherd, says she already has her eye on borrowing a bylaw which has been successful in Vernon.

"We've been looking at a 'Good Neighbour' bylaw that the City of Vernon has," says Shepherd. "It's a drug house bylaw the community has been using."

okanaganlakebc.ca says: ('Good Neighbour' bylaw is not only for drug houses, but nuisance smoke, panhandling, boat noise, property maintenance, snow removal, trees, and more.) “weed” means and shall include brush, trees, noxious weeds and other growth that is allowed to come to a state of causing, or about to cause, a nuisance and any vegetation that may by its root system, limbs, shoots or leaves intrude into a lane in a manner that may impact travel, construction, maintenance levels, longevity or esthetics of the said lane.

Under the bylaw, no persons are permitted to enter the residence or reside there until it has been brought up to building code standards by the owner.

Shepherd says the agreement will also save taxpayers money.

She says it takes about 80 hours of staff time to put a bylaw together, and with potentially four communities sharing in the cost, taxpayers will get a better bang for their buck.

"Sometimes you just have to do something that makes sense," added Vernon Mayor, Wayne Lippert.

"It will help us move things along that will really affect the day to day lives of the people that live within the Okanagan Valley. It will reduce government, reduce structure, reduce costs and allow us to operate in a more timely fashion."

Lippert says a recently adopted valley-wide mobile licensing bylaw took only a few months to put together, when typically, it would have taken about two years.

The big winner in this agreement could be the District of Westside.

The municipality, not quite a year old, is still in the process of putting a number of bylaws into place.

"I think the citizens of the District of Westside will benefit the most initially because of the recent incorporation. Although we do inherit some of the bylaws from the Regional District, some of those are not of an urban standard," says Westside Mayor, Rosalind Neis.

"I do hope in time the Westside can also be a big contributor, so we're not just the recipient of the benefit, but as time goes on we can bring forward things to help the other municipalities as well."

Penticton Mayor, Jake Kimberly, says taxpayers this is not another level of government.

"The initiative here was to reduce government because the proposal by the three regional districts was to create another governance to look after the issues that we want to address collectively, and that was something the four mayors opposed," says Kimberly.

He says each of the four municipalities have the staff in place to deal with what has been initiated through the agreement.

Kimberly says it's a matter of sharing that information with each other.

The agreement, the first of its kind in B.C., is already garnering national attention.

Neis says her office has received a request by a councillor from Newfoundland asking to view this document.

"It is wonderful to be involved in something so simple yet so powerful, and that it could change the way local governments work with neighbouring municipalities. Cooperation is a wonderful concept, often easier said than done, but when there is a willingness to work together we can always find a way.

-------------------------------------------

Protected tree shall mean (Nov 2007 - on page 248):
from the Green Bylaws Toolkit - for Conserving Sensitive Ecosystems and Green Infrastructure

a. a Garry Oak tree (Quercus garryana);
b. an Arbutus tree (Arbutus menziesii);
c. a Pacific Dogwood tree (Cornus nuttallii);
d. a Pacific Yew tree (Taxus brevifolia);
e. a Cascara tree (Rhamnus purshiana);
f. a Manzanita tree (Arcotostaphylos columbiana);
g. a Douglas-fir tree (Pseudotsuga menziesii), having a diameter greater than 60 centimetres (24 inches);
h. etc.;
i. any tree having a diameter greater than 80 centimetres (31.5 inches)

Blue Divider Line

RDCO reacts to proposed Open Burning rules
From AM1150 - Mon, 2008-07-28

Local News
The Regional District of the Central Okanagan isn't too happy about proposed changes to the province's Open Burning Smoke Control rules.

Board Chair Robert Hobson says the changes would have hurt the region's ability to deal with pine beetle infected trees. He says, "We have a huge beetle problem coming, it's already hit parts of the region. We have to deal with a lot of material. We can't ship it because that maintains a fire hazard on the land, so it has to be burned."

Hobson says the changes would also remove the ability of the RDCO to deal with fire hazard reduction.

The province wants to ban the use of air curtain burners in two years, and the Board is not happy about it. He says, "We have bought one curtain burner which is an excellent way of burning, at a very hot heat, the wood material without smoke. And we'd like to buy additional ones for other parts of the Regional District."

Hobson says the district uses the burners to dispose of pine beetle infested wood.

The district has sent a letter to the Ministry of Environment, asking them to re-consider the changes.

Charmaine de Silva - Astral Media Radio News (Kelowna)

------------------------------------------------------

Pine Beetle/Fire Hazard
From AM1150 - Tue, 2008-07-29

Anonymous
Recently sent an email to R. Thorpe, asking to be put in touch with the agency that looks after Pine beetle problem on crown land, guess what? NO REPLY! We live on Pettman Rd in West Kelowna Estates, our home backs on to crown land, our street is a dead end (ends on crown land).......there is a large stand of DEAD trees north of the road end. There are also other dead groups of trees in the area. We go to the expense of protecting the pine trees on our lot (as does our neighbour to the north of us).........what responsibility does the province have here? they should at least try and protect trees in an interface area and remove the dead ones which are a fire hazard. HELP, SOMEBODY OUT THERE MUST HAVE SOME ANSWERS, ALL WE HEAR IS THE LARGE EXPENSE TO HOMEOWNERS IF OUR TREES BECOME INFESTED, WHERE DOES THE RESPONSIBILITY START FOR THE PROVINCE? REGARDS Frank & Joyce D

*Note* Gee that's funny we never received replies to our emails either. signed okanaganlakebc.ca

Blue Divider Line

Fire leads to new rules in Kelowna
Vernon Morning Star - Published: August 19, 2008

KELOWNA - A bolt of lightning.

That’s all it took on Aug. 16, 2003 to spark the Okanagan Mountain Park fire – a blaze that eventually ate through 25,600 hectares of land, destroyed or damaged 238 homes and led to the evacuation of more than 33,000 people – testing the capabilities of the city’s emergency plans and emergency responders.

In the five years since the sparking of the most significant interface wildfire in B.C. history – which one consultant said served as a “powerful wake-up call” for the province – officials have been looking at the lessons learned from the fire and have started to make changes to how we treat the forest and fires.

“Once you go through an event of that magnitude, a lot of questions get asked,” said Kelowna fire chief Rene Blanleil. “I think several lessons were learned.”

In the months following the 2003 fire season, former Manitoba premier Gary Filmon was tasked with reviewing the fire season and making recommendations to help reduce the risk of a similar fire season of that magnitude.

Already, the provincial government has handed over $48 million province-wide to deal with some of his more than 40 recommendations, said Brian Kempf of the B.C. Forest Service.

As well, the City of Kelowna engaged the help of B.A. Blackwell and Associates, which evaluated its policies and what things city politicians should be considering to reduce the risk.

“Certainly, a lot has been changed,” said Kelowna Mayor Sharon Shepherd.

Kelowna neighbourhoods have long been growing into the forested areas outside the urban core. But how to mix the urban and wildland wasn’t something that was really contemplated by city officials until the 1990s.

“Prior to the (city’s) official community plan in 1996, they weren’t even talking about the rural-urban interface,” said Shepherd.

In the following seven years, the city did identify some areas that had wildland fire potential, but not many.

“They had kind of a very small line around the edge of the city,” said Shepherd. “After the fire, they went into a lot more detail.”

The current wildland fire hazard identifies large swaths of property at higher risk of wildland fire, including the area hit in 2003, some areas along the Mission Creek Greenway bed, and in the McKinley area, the mayor noted.

Now, holders of large properties in the expanded wildfire hazard area, who plan to develop the land, must take out a development permit and deal with wildland fire hazards before construction, said Shepherd.

Blue Divider Line

Woman's Death Sparks Criticism, Web Site 911 Dispatch.com
Friday, June 6 2008
The death of a 19 year-old woman in British Columbia (Canada) last January has generated calls for increased staffing at the regional public safety comm center in Kelowna, after a witness dialed 911 and couldn't immediately talk to a dispatcher to report the murder. The incident has also renewed the residents' interest in moving the comm center operation back to the town of Cranbrook, where the murder occurred. The incident has generated a Web site, on-line petition and a song contest. Find all the facts and opinions

Blue Divider Line

Alta. family may take legal action over fatal 911 call
Gwendolyn Richards, Canwest News Service
Published: Wednesday, July 30, 2008

CALGARY - The family of a toddler who died after ambulances were mistakenly dispatched to a home in another province is contemplating legal action after federal regulators found the Internet company and its call centre at fault for the misdirection.

The Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission found call takers at the 911 call centre contracted by Comwave failed to follow regulations in April when dealing with an emergency call from a Calgary family.

For the Luck family, who lost 18-month-old Elijah in April after the botched call to 911 over their Internet-based phone line, there is some vindication in the findings.

“It’s time the truth came out. We did everything right,” Elijah’s mom Khadija Luck said Wednesday.

“This is actually what I’ve been praying for,” Elijah’s dad Melvin Luck added.

But the findings do not offer much solace to the Luck family.

“It’s not going to bring my son back,” Khadija said. “I know he would’ve been alive.”

Elijah died on April 29 after his aunt called 911 from the family’s Calgary home using their voice-over-Internet protocol phone.

The toddler - who suffered medical problems for most of his life after being born several weeks premature - was having trouble breathing after waking up from a nap.

The call for an ambulance was answered by a Comwave’s contracted call centre just outside of Toronto. And when the call was disconnected - for undetermined reasons - an ambulance was dispatched to the Luck’s former home in Mississauga, Ont., based on the address the call centre had in its system.

The Lucks had moved to Calgary two years ago.

The CRTC ruled the call centre did not follow regulations when an operator failed to confirm the family’s location.

When using a nomadic VoIP, the call could be coming from anywhere, CRTC director-general of telecommunications Paul Godin said. No matter what the address is on file, the call may not be originating from that site.

“Comwave . . . the call centre Comwave uses, didn’t follow the rules,” he said.

In a statement released Wednesday, Comwave president Yuval Barzakay said the company and its contracted call centre will adhere to the “new rules and obligations” outlined by the federal body.

“We do not agree that these directives formed part of the CRTC’s initial requirements as they were stipulated in 2005,” he said.

He added the call operator did phone back the Luck family after the initial phone call was disconnected, but was unable to verify an address before the call was disconnected again.

Godin said the rule has always been if a VoIP customer calls 911, the call centre operator must confirm the caller’s location.

Barzakay called on federal regulators for more exact instructions.

“We need to know precisely how many call back attempts are needed before we dispatch to the address on file,” he said.

The Luck family has since changed to a land-based phone line.

Melvin Luck plans to talk to a lawyer to determine how to proceed now the CRTC investigation is complete.

Up to now, his wife said, the family was not in the right frame of mind to consider legal action.

“Basically, our lives are ruined,” she said.

The days that have passed since their son died have been a constant struggle, she added.

A little more than a year ago, she was spending most of her time at the hospital in preparation for Elijah’s permanent return home after months of treatment for heart, lung and stomach problems arising from his premature birth.

He was finally discharged July 23. This year, on the first anniversary of that day, the family visited his grave.

“This year is so empty,” Elijah’s mother said.

Blue Divider Line

Budget 2008

Westside Fire Department (Not North Westside but Westside)
Tax Req - EA Cent Ok. West (1,942)
(page 18 2008 financial plan)

North Westside Volunteer Fire / Rescue Department
Tax Req - EA Cent Ok. West (421,228)
(page 23 2008 financial plan)

Blue Divider Line

There are 2,136 parcels within the North Westside Fire Service Area contributing to the fire department a June 2008 RDCO email says. 

Blue Divider Line

Fire risk a concern in parks
July 08, 2008 - Vernon Morning Star

The Central Okanagan Regional District and the District of Lake Country urge residents to consider the fire risk when in local parks.

“Area fire chiefs are urging everyone to be careful when they are in our regional and municipal parks,” said Bruce Smith, CORD’s communications co-ordinator.

“Campfires are not allowed in regional district parks. We’d like to remind everyone that smoking is not permitted in any regional district park.”

Staff from CORD and Lake Country follow the fire hazard ratings closely when evaluating whether public areas should remain open. While there are no plans to close any parks at the present time, they will be well publicized if closures are required.

“We encourage any of our park neighbours and people visiting our parks to be vigilant at all times, but particularly during the summer months,” said Smith.

“Anyone noticing smoke or fire in a park should immediately call 911 and ask to be connected to their area fire department.”

CORD includes the North Westside Road area.

Blue Divider Line

Hospital butts out smokers
By Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star - May 30, 2008

Smokers hanging around Vernon Jubilee Hospital’s front entrance are a thing of the past.

As of Saturday, smoking will be banned at all Interior Health Authority facilities and grounds, including hospitals and care homes.

“We’re not saying people can’t smoke, just not on IHA property,” said Joanne Konnert, chief operating officer.

A common sight at VJH has been to see patients and visitors lighting up outside the main entrance.

“We’ve had lots of complaints from people who go through the wall of smoke and they’re wondering why we allow this,” said Konnert, who added that smoking is inconsistent with the agency’s goal of improving public health.

While there may be some concern about patients, with a variety of ailments, leaving the hospital grounds for a smoke, Konnert is confident that problems can be avoided.

“There will be a bit of a transition but we hope people will prepare for coming to the hospital and perhaps they will use it as an opportunity to quit smoking,” she said.

Patients will receive information from their doctor about the policy and assistance, such as nicotine replacement products, may be made available to the patient.

Beyond VJH, the smoking ban covers residential care, palliative car and mental health facilities.

Special consideration may be given to people living in those settings.

“We are working with folks individually so they may choose to stop smoking or we can set up a way to accommodate them,” said Konnert.

The entire issue, though, has one politician fuming.

Pat Hudson, an Armstrong councillor, believes the smoking regulations could negatively impact terminally ill patients.

“Somebody’s who dealing with terminal cancer and has not long to live, that’s all they have left,” he said.

“I don’t say they should be anywhere near an entrance, but surely to God we can find some way to give someone a break”

The Canadian Cancer Society supports IHA’s actions.

“It’s something we’ve been pushing for years — a smoke-free environment for everyone,” said Leslie Swan, president of the society’s Vernon chapter.

“Especially at the hospital, people shouldn’t be walking through a cloud of smoke to get there.”

Blue Divider Line

RDCO By-law No. 910
Being a bylaw to authorize the borrowing of Two Hundred and Twenty Thousand Dollars ($220,000.00) for the purpose of providing fire protection to the Ridgeview Development (Ridgeview is La Casa)
; ($220,000 divided by approx. 500 properties = $440.00 per property)

Whereas a request has been received by the Regional District of Central Okanagan to extend the North Westside Road Fire Protection Service Area to include a parcel of land located within a portion of Electoral Area "G" and known as the Ridgeview Development.

And Whereas the Regional Board deems it necessary to construct a fire storage garage and purchase fire fighting equipment in order to provide this service;

And Whereas the Regional District of Central Okanagan has established a Bylaw No. 909, a service area for the purpose of constructing the fire storage garage and purchasing fire fighting equipment;

And Whereas pursuant to Section 797.4 of the Local Government Act, the Regional District of Central Okanagan has obtained a sufficient petition for the service;

Blue Divider Line

Ridgeview Fire Dept. seems to have more assets in buildings and equipment in total than North Westside Road Fire Dept.?

REGIONAL DISTRICT
OF THE CENTRAL OKANAGAN
Financial Statements
For the year ended December 31, 2004

Ridgeview (Ridgeview is La Casa) fire protection
Buildings $105,998
Machinery and Equipment $89,848
Total 2004 $195,846 (page 27)

North Westside Road fire protection
Machinery and Equipment $104,927
Total 2004 $104,927
Total 2003 $9,007 (page 27)

RDCO Bylaw No. 909 A bylaw to establish a service within a portion of Electoral Area "G" to provide fire protection to the Ridgeview Development

3. The annual costs for the service established in Section 1 shall be recovered by:
a) The requisition of money under Section 806, to be collected by a parcel tax imposed in the manner provided by Section 806.1 (1)(b) of the Local Government Act.
b) The imposition of fees and other charges that may be set by separate bylaw for the purpose of recovering these costs.

4. The maximum amount that may be requisitioned annually under Section 803 (1) (b) for costs of the service shall be $22,000 (page 1)

Ridgeview 2008 parcel tax revenue budget $16,562
Debt. Firehall Construction
(page 26 2008 Financial Statement)
[$33.32 per each of 497 properties = $16,562]
parcel tax rate budget 2008 33.46 (page 26 2008 Financial Statement)

5. This bylaw may be cited as the Regional District of Central Okanagan Ridgeview Development Fire Protection Service Area Establishment Bylaw No. 909, 2000 (page 2)

2008 Protective Services
Ridgeview Fire $16,562
North Westside Road Fire/Rescue $557,036
(page 6 2008 Financial Plan)

Ridgeview Fire Protection Parcel Tax Rate $33.46
a. Debt re: Fire Hall Construction
(page 26 2008 Financial Plan)

http://www.regionaldistrict.com/docs/finance/2008finplan.pdf

RDCO Hilary Hettinga said in an email June 2008 that La Casa pays the same for fire as North Westsider's plus La Casa pays an extra $33.46 to extend the North Westside Road Fire Depts. boundary to La Casa.

Blue Divider Line

Program your cell phone with your (ICE) emergency contact phone numbers.

In Case of Emergency (ICE) is a program that enables first responders, such as paramedics, firefighters, and police officers, to identify victims and contact their next of kin to obtain important medical information. The program was conceived in the mid-2000s and promoted by British paramedic Bob Brotchie in May 2005.[1] It encourages people to enter emergency contacts in their cell phone address book under the name "ICE". Alternately, a person can list multiple emergency contacts as "ICE1", "ICE2", etc. The popularity of the program has spread across Europe, and has started to grow into North America.[2]

Blue Divider Line

ENGINEERING COMMITTEE MINUTES April 03, 2003 (page 2)

Administration – Chief works 3 days/week on record keeping, fire protection, public information, training, budgets etc.

Dispatch Services started January, 2001. There are a few problems that are being worked on. The new average number of calls is estimated @ 60 – 80 per year.

Would like to have a Spring 2003 Referendum for a mil rate increase and truck replacement parcel tax. In 2007 the truck will be 20 years old. Wayne suggested a $50 parcel tax with a five-year sunset clause in order to pay cash for the truck. (Concern was expressed re. Ridgeview [La Casa] contributing).

The Department would also like to implement the 25 year plan to replace truck for the 2nd pumper in 2015 and replacement of the Killiney Beach Hall in 2027 @ $300,000.

Blue Divider Line

Page with lots of fire resource links

Blue Divider Line

Taken from the Westside Road Communities News Volume 4 ~ Issue 1 of June 2008 on page 11 and 16
by Fire Chief Wayne Carson

Communications:
Are and have been our weakest link.  We have experience extremely poor communications with our fire dispatch and rely heavily upon cell phones that don't work that much better.  At present the Regional District has a request for proposals to rebuild the entire Regional Dispatch system.  From this $600,000 Regional Board project, we are hoping to greatly improve the radio/dispatch system very soon.  We have been so fortunate that this has not resulted in injury or death to any of our members or residents.  Do not confuse "fire dispatch" with the "911 call center".  They are not the same thing.  Fire Dispatch is a function of RDCO and the "911 call center" is the RCMP and a Provincial function.

Blue Divider Line

Taken from the Westside Road Communities News Volume 4 ~ Issue 1 of June 2008 on page 13

NWF/R

There has been some discussion regarding the building of a single bay Firehall in Westshore Estates to allow for a quicker response time in that area.  With a number of firefighters living in Westshore Estates, a considerable amount of time is wasted driving to the Killiney Beach hall.  This is still in the discussion stages but many residents of Westshore Estates are excited about the idea.  The quicker response time is a huge benefit for the area.  North Westside Fire Rescue is looking for a few good people.  Physically fit, 18 or older with a valid drivers license.  Come check us out Tuesday night 7PM at the Killiney Beach Fire Station.

Blue Divider Line

911 DISPATCH PROBLEMS ACROSS CANADA

The intruder pulled out a gun and shot Ellis in the chest. While Ellis lay dying on the floor Neelin dialed 911. But the lines at the nearest call centre 500 kilometers away in Kelowna were busy; each time she called she received a recorded message to wait on the line.

"Why are people getting put on hold? This is an emergency number...there should be no hold. There should be a person answering that phone 24/7," says Neelin.

A 911 dispatcher finally answered the call and it is believed that police and ambulance did not arrive at the scene of the crime until about 20 minutes later after the first call to 911 was made. It was too late. Ellis was dead.

According to the RCMP who operates the 911 dispatch centre in Kelowna there were only two call takers working and one of them was on a break. The RCMP also said it was an unusually busy night for calls.

In the aftermath of these 911 tragedies, emergency services in Kelowna, Ottawa, and Hamilton as well as Winnipeg report they have made improvement to the ways 911 calls are handled.

source - Watch CTV's W-Five Video and read about more incidents

Blue Divider Line

911 Dispatch Info - Email from RDCO

When someone calls 9-1-1, the answering operator at the 9-1-1 Dispatch Centre in Kelowna asks whether the caller wants Police, Fire or Ambulance?

If the response is ambulance, the call is immediately transferred to the BC Ambulance Dispatch Centre in Kamloops. An ambulance would be dispatched from there and would most likely respond from Vernon.

If the caller asks for Police, the call is immediately transferred to the RCMP Dispatch Centre in the same facility as 9-1-1 is located, here in Kelowna. For the North Westside area, RCMP would most likely respond from Vernon.

If the caller asks for Fire, the call is immediately transferred to the Kelowna Fire Dispatch Centre located in the City of Kelowna Fire Department main hall on Enterprise Way and as you are aware, North Westside Fire/Rescue would respond from your community.

Blue Divider Line

When you call 911, the system will automatically identify the number of the telephone that you are calling from. The 911 computer compiles your address and phone number before your call is connected to an operator.

The 911 operator will ask you which service you require--Police, Fire or Ambulance. If you’re not sure which service you require, they will question you to determine the right one. You will then be asked for your name, address, phone number and the nature of the emergency. Answer all questions as clearly as possible and if necessary, a vehicle may be cccne until you are told to hang up. Try to stay calm.

http://www.pep.bc.ca/hazard_preparedness/911_Emergency_Calls.pdf

Blue Divider Line

Police, fire or ambulance? Emergency assistance is as close as your telephone 24 hours a day. The 911 emergency telephone service is provided for residents of the the Central, North and South Okanagan, and Columbia Shuswap areas from the Communications Centre located in Kelowna. The Regional District of Central Okanagan administers the general operations of the Communications Centre in partnership with the RCMP.

Phone: (250) 868-5249
Fax: (250) 763-0606
Email: hr"at"cord.bc.ca
Address: 1450 KLO Road, Kelowna, BC, V1W 3Z4
Hours: 8:00-4:00 Monday to Friday

http://www.regionaldistrict.com/departments/crime/crime_911.aspx

Blue Divider Line

Fire Dept revenue for traffic accidents

RDCO email says quote:

"The response to any accident/incident within the North Westside Fire/Rescue District boundary is billed to the department budget.

The response to any accident/incident that is outside the North Westside Fire/Rescue District boundary first requires a PEP (Provincial Emergency Plan) number. With that number, PEP reimburses the costs associated with the fire department response."

Fire Dept email says quote:

"A small token bill is issued to the Provincial Emergency Program by the Regional Rescue coordinator for an extrication outside of the fire protection district. An amount of approx. $125.00 will be paid if:

1. Extrication actually takes place ( if they are out of the vehicle when we get there then no extrication fee)

2. We are out of our fire district (we do not get compensation for any extrication/MVA's within our district whether the vehicle is local or from the rest of the world)

3. A pre approved Task # is issued by PEP to KFD Dispatch (before we are allowed to leave the fire protection district or no payment or coverage.).

This $125.00 if paid would be to cover the $200,000.00 truck we send with the $150,000.00 in equipment on it the five trained firefighters wages , fuel and wear and tear on truck and equipment. Neither ICBC or Highways feel that they should compensate a fire department for the service we provide to their motorists although in individual discussions each think we should be compensated, just by the other guys budget This argument has been ongoing for over ten years that I know of and you as a local taxpayer are still footing the entire bill. We get no funding (aside from your local fire tax dollars) to do MVA's and/or extrications in our district."

okanaganlakebc.ca says quote: "Did you realize ICBC earned accumulated profits of 2.1 billion dollars in 2008?"

Blue Divider Line

Want a designer reflective address sign?
Ask the North Westside Fire Dept. to order Sharon's design.  Sunshine Autographics in Vernon who make some of the signs for the North Westside Fire Dept. can make you this same design as this design is now in their computer as of April 9, 2008.   Joyce at Sunshine Autographics knows what design is Sharon's design (this was discussed with Joyce) so the Fire Dept or yourself may need to talk to Joyce as she designed the sign!

Picture of a designer reflective address sign you can order from the local North Westside Road fire dept.

Blue Divider Line

First responders are an essential part of prehospital care in British Columbia. As one indicator of their significance, there are a significant number of them – 6,250. For a sense of scale, there are 3,010 paramedics in the province. Most first responders work for, or are volunteers with the 226 fire departments providing first response services. In most cases, medical calls make up the biggest category of total responses by fire departments, typically far more than responses to structure fires. In a busy metropolitan fire department, most first responders will attend well over 100 medical calls each per year.

http://www.apbc.ca/home/files/file/reports/CameronReport2007.pdf

Blue Divider Line

From page 47
The First Responder program is currently subsidized by the Ministry of Health.

http://www.apbc.ca/home/files/file/reports/CameronReport2007.pdf

Blue Divider Line

From page 111
I think I would also like to bring to your attention that obviously prescribed burning is not always the answer. Some major fires have happened because of prescribed burning and so I think we have to be aware of the right conditions and obviously having the right people in control of those is pretty important.

http://www.2003firestorm.gov.bc.ca/Kelowna112703B.pdf

Blue Divider Line

From page 17 COW Tax Requisition

Electoral Area Fire Prevention
2008 10,943    2007 4,242    INCREASE 6,701

Regional Rescue
2008 31,473    2007 30,798   INCREASE 675

911 Emergency Number
2008 4,482      2007 5,102     DECREASE 620

Blue Divider Line

North Westside Fire 2008 financial plan on page 19

Trucks expense $215,000
Marine Fire Boat expense $120,000
Boat House expense $30,000

Subject to community, committee and Board approvals.

Blue Divider Line

We have one full-time Fire Chief without a full-time fire crew.  How about one full-time Fire Chief with one full-time Fire Fighting Truck with fire fighting capabilities then instead, especially now that we have the pine beetle fires to worry about?  If you think this is a good idea please contact COW Director Jim Edgson or Regional District of Central Okanagan Director of Engineering.

Why are Westside Road fire hydrants buried in the snow?
See pictures and find out what the Fire Chief is doing about it.  In talking to the President of the North Westside Ratepayers Association (Allastair Fergusson)  he says he has spoken with the responsible parties and did see someone clearing the fire hydrants Friday afternoon.  Allastair stated to us that it is the Fire Chiefs responsibility to make sure the hydrants are cleared of snow.
WE ADDED MORE PHOTOS Feb 21, 2008

911 Dispatch Communication Problems
Chimney Fire Feb 16, 2008
NEW INFO THE TRUTH FROM THE RCMP!
Advice for Chimney Fires

NEW Should ICBC and/or Ministry of Transportation chip in for our Fire Dept expenses?

NEW Full-time Fire Chief - concern about position being a public posting

Public Works Utility Operator/Emergency Services Responder

NORTH WESTSIDE INTERFACE FIRE HAZARD SURVEY AND COMMUNITY WILDFIRE PROTECTION PLAN - from NWFR website

NEW Do we really need a second Bylaw Enforcement Officer?

Fire Boat

Marine Rescue Equipment

Bay Expansion

Charge Provincial Park Users for Fire Equipment

Emergency Generator for Firehall and North Westside Communities Hall

High Angle Rope Rescue Training for 9 Members

Sprinkler Protection Systems

Pumper Truck

Trench Burner

Water Tender

Second Water Tender

$100,000 Gaming Grant to replace Bush Truck

Fire Smart Tree Species pg 15
or Chapter 3 - 9 at bottom of pg

Fire Fighting Foams and Gels pg 42
or Chapter 3 - 36 at bottom of pg
Fire gels are highly effective, providing a longer lasting fire retardant effect than firefighting foam. Gels can be rehydrated with more water if they dry out after application to protected surfaces. Fire gels can be difficult to clean off (pressure washing is required).

Comment Form

RDCO's Fire Protection Webpage

FIRE DEPT STATISTICS
calls that were attended to (page 9)

Listing of Fire Depts - from Office of the Fire Commissioner
North Westside Fire/Rescue
Westside Fire Dept.
See where the confusion may come in calling 911?  When calling 911 say "NORTH" Westside and not just Westside or Killiney Beach.

North Westside Fire/Rescue Website

Justice Institute of BC - Fire and Safety Division

FireSmart: Protecting Your Community from Wildfire
It is futile to try to protect buildings or homes shrouded in dense forest fuels. Some firefighters have paid for such efforts with their lives.

BC Fire Code from the Queens Printer
The BC Fire Code contains technical requirements designed to provide an acceptable level of fire safety within a community.

BC Fire Code from the Office of the Fire Commissioner

Fire Dept Act from Queens Printer

Fire Services Act from Queens Printer

BC Fire Services Act - Duties of the Fire Commissioner

Office of the Fire Commissioner
The Office of the Fire Commissioner is the senior fire authority in the province with respect to fire safety and prevention. Services include administration and enforcement of fire safety legislation, training of local assistants to the fire commissioner, fire loss statistics collection, fire investigation, fire inspection, response to major fire emergencies, advice to local governments on delivery of fire protection services, public fire safety education and fire fighter certification.

Fire Commissioner of Canada Standards (Labour)

Insurance Fire Reporting Manual (OFC)
By virtue of the Fire Services Act all insurance companies, including the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, are required to report to the Fire Commissioner every fire occurring in British Columbia in which it is interested as insurer.

Blue Divider Line

We found this statement on the North Westside Fire website on their index page.

Structure Fires Most of the information circulating in the community on the two structure fires is the figment of sick and uninformed imaginations and no attempt was made to verify the accuracy or truth to the statements before they were published to the local attack site. This is irresponsible, unprofessional and just plain wrong, I urge you to ignore the source. There were no problems with either 911 dispatch or the fire departments response. (NOT WHAT RCMP SAID)  I (as should you be) am extremely proud of the job the firefighters have done on both of these fires and the other incidents they handled in-between. As the saying goes if you don't wish to stand behind your fire department please feel free to stand in front of them.

Note* We think this message was posted  in regard to the Kildare Way Fire on Feb 16, 2008 and maybe the other fire the NWFR website talks about is the fire Dec 2007 at the Goldammer's shown on the NWFR website index page??

We do try verifying the accuracy and truth of information, but we have a really hard time getting answers and we are not sure that the truth has fully come out.  In one instance the Fire Chief did not answer the email we sent him, but instead the Fire Chiefs email was answered by RDCO.  We did send it to the correct email address of the NWFR.  Why did the Fire Chief not answer the email we sent him but instead RDCO answered it?

If there were no problems with dispatch, why then did the one neighbour say the stuff they did?  I don't feel people make up stories for the hell of it!  It didn't seem to me that the neighbours were lying when they were telling me the stories, and the neighbours truly sounded believable to me.  One guy was very mad when he told me his story.  I myself don't feel the neighbours were lying.  I believe that some people are trying to conceal the truth to this story, and I surely don't appreciate it.  signed okanaganlakebc.ca

MORE

This article below was published in the North Westside Communities News Spring 2008 Edition.

Article from the North Westside Communities News Spring 2008 about the Kildare Way fire.
click article to read larger print

No problem with dispatch???  Unbelievable!!!

Read what the RCMP say plus more about this here.

Blue Divider Line

Controlled burns under way at North Westside parks
By Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star - April 11, 2008

Smoke is hovering over two North Westside parks but that doesn’t mean there’s an emergency.

Residents are being advised that the B.C. Forest Service is burning beetle-infested wood at the Evely recreation site, south of Westshores, and at Fintry Provincial Park.

“They will be burning for

The Central Okanagan Regional District’s air quality standards are also being followed to limit the impact of smoke on residents.

However, the controlled burns may create some hazards for motorists.

“We are getting smoke drifting across Westside Road so keep your eyes open for the work crews,” said Carson.

The goal of the controlled burns is to remove as much dead wood as possible and reduce the risk of wildfire.

“The project was launched to make the community safer,” said Carson.

Blue Divider Line

b) Management of Volunteer Fire Departments
A higher level of protection is needed. Lawsuits are very expensive. As a result of a lawsuit, Lake Country hired a fully qualified Fire Chief/Director of Emergency Services. pg 2

Blue Divider Line

RDCO Engineering Services is responsible for fire protection and the Regional Rescue programs it says on the engineering webpage of RDCO's website.

Blue Divider Line

Fire Dept Apparatus and Equipment Classified Ads

Photos of the new water tender truck for 2007 season

Blue Divider Line

From RDCO 2007 Annual Report

2007 Highlights

- Completed renovation of Station 101 for the North Westside by expanding the truck bay and installing a backup electrical power generator.

- North Westside purchased tender.

2008 Initiatives (This below is for the Westside and not North Westside)

- Adding a fire department Mechanic with the addition of a ladder
  truck and the maintenance demands on the fire fleet.

- Delivery of ladder truck expected September 2008.
  (Westside not North Westside)

- Adding three full-time fire fighters to maintain six fire fighters on
  duty 24 hours/day. This would allow two full-time fire fighters to be
  available on each shift to run the Rescue or Ladder Truck.

Source RDCO 2007 Annual Report pg 8

In January 2007, the Regional Board authorized the purchase of a new 100 foot aerial ladder truck for Westside Fire/Rescue at a cost of $1 million. (*Note* Not the North Westside but Westbank)

Source RDCO 2007 Annual Report pg 9 on left side of page

Blue Divider Line

This is a photo of the Fire Chiefs truck.
This is a photo of the Fire Chief Wayne Carson's rescue truck that you see him driving around in.  He takes it home with him at night, which is just fine with us because its just down a couple of blocks from the fire hall and this will just make his response time quicker.  This picture of the rescue truck was taken awhile ago now.  We received an email from one of the locals that this is the fire chiefs truck and it said the Fire Chief's truck holds 250 gallons of water and that there is a pump that can be fired up, that will pump the water out. RDCO's email says it holds 120 gallons.  The email from the local said you see that little black pocket right before the rear wheel? That is where the water goes into the tank. There is a pump on the top of the truck along with enough hose and nozzle inside one of the big compartments.  The rescue truck doesn’t hold the first responder stuff.  All that got transferred to the snuffer when they got it. The Fire Chief carries the sprinklers, a generator, some hose lengths, spotlights, traffic stuff, accident cribbing and other surplus equipment. They got the snuffer so they could lighten up the rescue truck because it was so overloaded and top heavy that the wheel would lift off the pavement if you took a corner too fast.... this is what we were told in an email.

It says on the North Westside Fire Dept webpage that they used 2 Engines, Snuffer Unit, Tender 101, Rescue 101 and one Bush 102 total response from both halls on the Goldammers home Dec 2007.  So that must mean we must have had 6 fire vehicles in total from both the Killiney Beach and Shorts Creek fire halls in Dec 2007.

 Blue Divider Line

The Human Resources Department is also responsible for labour relations, recruitment, training and career planning, employee health and safety and Workers Compensation regulations.  We also oversee the Regional 911 Emergency Dispatch Centre, Regional Drug Policy Coordinator, Victim-Witness Services, Crime Prevention, Crime Stoppers and the False Alarm Reduction programs. Risk Management issues and Freedom of Information are also functions that fall under the Human Resources Department banner

Source RDCO 2007 Annual Report pg 21

Blue Divider Line

2007 HIGHLIGHTS Grants and Donations
Received a $165,666 grant from Service Canada (HRSDC) for five crew members and equipment to remove pine beetle and hazard trees, and to undertake fuel management and forest health projects over 2007/2008.

Source RDCO 2007 Annual Report pg 12

Blue Divider Line

The Regional District provides paid-on call fire services with volunteers operating with equipment from halls in North Westside, Wilsons Landing, Ellison and Joe Rich.

Source RDCO 2007 Annual Report pg 9

Blue Divider Line

Local poster asking residents to purchase reflective address signs.
This is a poster we found on the local bulletin board regarding reflective address signs.

We received an email from a local on Feb 18, 2008 that said this:
I have to wait until spring thaw to get my address post from the fire dept. Interesting that real estate posts are able to be put up now but not important address number posts!!!!!!!!

The sign installation could have something to do with the ground still being frozen?

Sunshine Autographics in Vernon makes some address signs for the Fire Dept.  Out of the $30.00 it costs you for the address sign and post, you are paying $11.00 for the cost of the post and the installation .... dirt cheap!!  Clapping Hands Thank you very much to the Volunteer Fire Dept. for volunteering to dig the hole by hand for the posts and installing the address signs, it is much appreciated by the community.

If you want your Street name on your sign, just ask the fire dept. to order your sign with your street name on it and Sunshine Autographics said it won't cost you or the fire dept. anything extra.  If you want special graphics on your sign just talk to Sunshine Autographics.

Sunshine Autographics
4504 31 Street
Vernon, B.C.
250-549-3200

Blue Divider Line

Board Agenda

2007 Budget and Financial plan general revenue fund "expenditures summary" bottom of page 3:

$2,132

  Wilson's Landing Boundary Ext. Bella Vista

$9,289

  Lakeshore Road Fire Protection

$9,462

  June Springs Fire Protection
$16,562   Ridgeview Fire
$25,778   Traders/Pine Point/ Jenny Creek Fire
$29,275   Tamarack Fire Protection
$33,341   Brent Road Fire Protection
$70,247   Electoral Area Fire Prevention
$128,520   Wilson's Landing Fire Protection
$238,232   Joe Rich Fire Dept
$349,910   Ellison Fire Dept
$551,425   North Westside Road Fire/Rescue
$1,259,553   Regional Rescue Service

$3,903,787

  Westside Fire Protection

Blue Divider Line

Regional District of the Central Okanagan
General Capital Fund
Statement of Expenditures for Capital Assets
source page 27

http://www.regionaldistrict.com/docs/finance/CORD06FS.pdf

For the year ended December 31

Buildings

Machinery
& Equipment

Engineering
& Other
 Assets

Land

Total
2006

Total
2005

Ellison fire protection           212,965
Westside fire protection  694,660 3,449,498   66,493 4,210,651  
Joe Rich Volunteer fire protection   8,552     8,552 62,968
North Westside Road fire protection   65,776     65,776 52,484
Wilson's Landing fire protection   225,932     225,932  
Regional rescue service   73,076     73,076  
Brent Road fire protection           45,276

Blue Divider Line

Regional District of the Central Okanagan
General Revenue Fund
Surplus
source page 22, 2006 Financial Statement

http://www.regionaldistrict.com/docs/finance/CORD06FS.pdf

For the year ended December 31

2006

2005

Westside fire department 186,454 (10,732)
Electoral areas fire protection 22,077 3,099
Lakeshore Road fire protection (650) (1,133)
Ellison fire protection 35,503 4,442
Joe Rich hall / fire protection (1,294) 11,114
North Westside Road fire protection 40,727 62,145
Wilson's Landing fire protection 17,918 23,912
Tamarack fire protection (2,928) (2,928)
Traders / Pine Point / Jenny Creek fire protection 31 (770)
June Springs fire protection (613) 940
Brent Road fire protection (2,774) 1,911
Regional rescue service 148,673 (12,768)

Blue Divider Line

New North Westside Fire Water Truck
The Regional Board has approved a contract to replace an aging water tender truck for the North Westside Fire/Rescue Department. The bid of $199,950 excluding taxes from SafeTek Emergency Vehicles Limited is the lower of five qualified bids received. The department’s five year plan indicated that it would need to replace its 1980 water truck in 2007 and has set aside the funds required to purchase the new vehicle.

regionaldistrict.com/docs/boards_committees/rpts//2007/07_10_29brdrpt.pdf

Blue Divider Line

Should ICBC and/or Ministry of Transportation chip into paying for our fire dept??

Re: Joe Rich - Majority of work done by the fire dept. is traffic accidents and medical first response. (source page 4)

Do you feel property owners property taxes are subsidizing ICBC?

Do you think the Fire Dept should bill ICBC for each traffic accident response?

Blue Divider Line

Was anyone else able to apply for position of Fire Chief?

North Westside Fire Department - Staff continue to review the request by the North Westside Community to hire their volunteer fire chief as a full-time paid position. Staff drafted a job description which will be brought to the Westside Issues Committee for review.  Concern has been expressed about it being a public posting, what the function of the position would be (part of public works) and that it not be precedent setting. It was noted that the Community Association voted on the issue of having a full-time position. Staff noted that a reporting structure needs to be put in place.

regionaldistrict.com/docs/boards_committees/gov/mins/2006/GS_06_09_22Minutes.pdf

Blue Divider Line

Engineering Committee Minutes – July 13, 2006 (page 6)
3) FIRE SERVICES
a) Services Fire Position – North Westside Road
Hilary advised that North Westside Road VFD is lobbying for their Chief to have a full-time position. Hilary is looking at preparing a job description, possibly under Public Works, to include bylaw enforcement, parks services, and public works, along with fire services, first responder etc. This will be a multiple role position to be tried for a one year term starting next year.
Discussion re. an applicant having the proper qualifications and, if this goes ahead, that it should not set a precedence for other areas.
NOVAKOWSKI/DAY
THAT Engineering Services staff prepare a draft job description for a full-time Public Works/Fire Services position in North Westside Road, which will be tried for a one year term.
CARRIED

Blue Divider Line

163 volunteer firefighters in the Central Okanagan Regional District

Blue Divider Line

Can you volunteer and still be entitled to receive Employment Insurance (EI) benefits?

For the purposes of the EI program, we consider volunteer services to be work performed for which you receive no pay, and for which you do not derive or hope to derive any benefit, profit, or financial or economic advantage.

Blue Divider Line

Are volunteer fire fighters paid firefighters?
Confusion is setting in regarding the meaning of volunteer, as we thought volunteer meant services without pay!

RDCO communications co-ordinator says this information is not on RDCO's website but that the pay ranges from $15 to $25 per hour, minimum two hour callout, depending on rank…firefighter receives the lower pay rate, chief the higher.

Blue Divider Line

Full-time Fire Chief

Fire Chief - Jim E. addressed the Committee and stressed the community's desire for a full time fire chief.  He noted that in their view, the budget could handle the additional costs. source regionaldistrict.com/docs/boards_committees/wic/mins/2006/wic_06_03_06min.pdf

Full Time Fire Chief article from NWC News

We now have a full time fire chief for the North Westside Fire/Rescue fully funded from within the existing fire department budget which will not impact the existing tax rate in any way it says.  New job description is Public Works Utility Operator/Emergency Services Responder which this position will not take precedence over Wayne Carson's fire department responsibilities and duties.  Wayne also has responsibilities outside the fire dept include dog licensing.

WHY?

We already have a bylaw officer and now we have to pay for a second bylaw officer, especially now that Westbank is on its own??

RDCO Inspections

RDCO Animal Control Bylaw Officer Brian Ralph

Blue Divider Line

Report March 16, 2005
Official Community Plan Bylaw, Enforcement Policies

That the Board authorize staff to enforce the Ellison, Westside and North Westside Official Community Plans provisions in a proactive manner and that the Board give three readings and adopt the attached Municipal Ticket Information Bylaw amendment that provides ticketing offences for Official Community Plan Bylaw Violations.

It has become apparent that complaint driven enforcement of the Official Community Plan Bylaw provisions are not an effective way to reach the values that are sought after through an Official Community Plan.

Blue Divider Line

Fire Chief Wayne Carson completed a bylaw officers course.
Fire Chief Wayne Carson has taken the bylaw officers course

Blue Divider Line

Sept 22, 2006
North Westside Fire Department - Staff continue to review the request by the North Westside Community to hire their volunteer fire chief as a full-time paid position. Staff drafted a job description which will be brought to the Westside Issues Committee for review. Concern has been expressed about it being a public posting, what the function of the position would be (part of public works) and that it not be precedent setting. It was noted that the Community Association voted on the issue of having a full-time position. Staff noted that a reporting structure needs to be put in place. (page 6)

regionaldistrict.com/docs/boards_committees/gov/mins/2006/GS_06_09_22Minutes.pdf

Blue Divider Line

The Regional District presented Norm McLeod, Lorraine Denommee, Wayne Carson and Jim Edgson with Certificates of Appreciation in recognition of their volunteer participation on the development of the First Responders Program for the North Westside Road area. They were members of the North Westside Advisory Commission.

http://www.welcometokelowna.com/maxdehart/2002/23012002.htm

Blue Divider Line

Ban Burning Barrels and no burning stumps leaves and grass

Can bylaw enforcement be delegated to Fire Chiefs?

One of the fire dept crew members Dave Robertson was running for Central Okanagan West Director

Blue Divider Line

FIRE BOAT


Investigating funding for the project ... marine rescue equipment, equipment to provide water supply to assist with fires inland where water supply is unavailable and to run sprinkler protection systems.

Blue Divider Line

Expansion of Bays.

North Westside Fire/Rescue applied for a $100,000 gaming grant to aid in replacing bush truck.

One project includes emergency generator for Firehall and North Westside Communities Hall.

New water tender here, and funding currently in place to order second water tender.

From March 2007 North Westside Communities News
Reduction in the Fire Protection mil rate used to calculate your property taxes.  This is in addition to the 15-cent mil rate reduction in Fire Protection last year.

From rural property tax notice for N. Westside Rd. Fire

These tax rates below were copied off the actual rural property tax notice.
2009 tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value = 0.???? + $??.?? Fire Truck Referendum
2008 tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value = 0.7594 + $52.60 Fire Truck Referendum
2007 tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value = 1.0779 + $52.65 Fire Truck Referendum
2006 tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value = 1.2542 + $52.62 Fire Truck Referendum
2005 tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value = 1.4082 Fire Truck referendum started in 2006
2004 tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value = 1.4075
2003 tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value = 1.4095
2002 tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value = 1.2899
2001 tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value = 1.1702
2000 tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value = ??????
1999 tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value = ??????
1998 tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value = 0.7654

The fire truck referendum we are paying for 5 years on, so payment should end after 2010.

If someone could email us the previous years with question marks or even previous years, please do and we will add them, as we don't have that information.

Blue Divider Line

2006 tax requisitions percentage increases and the tax increase on a $316,000 home which was assessed at $275,000 in 2004 were highlighted:

- City of Kelowna – 13.11% ($19.45)
- Peachland – 12.48% ($15.23)
- Lake Country – 19.75% ($19.86)
- Westside North – 13.86% ($34.17)
- Westside South – 20.09% ($122.30) Staff circulated a revised document which included the Westside Fire Dept
- Central Okanagan East – 10.75% ($32.04)

regionaldistrict.com/docs/boards_committees/gov/mins/2006/GS_06_03_08Minutes.pdf

Blue Divider Line

High Angle Rope Rescue Training for 9 Members
Firehall news Fall 2007 Gaming Grant and Request for Proposal for Water Tender
The $1,000 grant-in-aid flag went up for the first time at the Community BBQ in August.

The NWCA actually received 2007 grant-in-aid (taxpayers tax money) from RDCO.  $4,500 for repair to Killiney Beach Community Hall plus $1,000 for a flagpole.

 

Nice Gesture By The Fire Dept.

 

The volunteer Fire Dept. has worked closely with the community providing bus shelters for the children of the community.

Cheers for Volunteers
Members of the North Westside Advisory Commission were presented with Certificates of Appreciation at last night’s Board Meeting. Norm McLeod, Lorraine Denommee, Wayne Carson, and Jim Edgson were recognized for their volunteer participation on the development of the First Responders Program for the North Westside Road area.

Source Highlights of the Regional Board Meeting Jan. 14, 2002

Public Works/First Responder Position

The Regional Board has approved creation of a one-year term position for the North Westside Road area. The area’s present volunteer Fire Chief will have the opportunity to take on a newly created position of Public Works Assistant/Emergency Service First Responder. While continuing to be available for emergency medical and fire calls in the North Westside Road Fire Protection Area and administration of the department, the position will also provide general labour and maintenance duties for water utilities, bylaw enforcement and some parks maintenance services.

regionaldistrict.com/docs/boards_committees/rpts//2006/06_10_30brdrpt.pdf

NWC News article Dec 2006

Blue Divider Line

Oct 2, 2002 Presentation to government to charge Provincial Park visitors who camp in the parks, to help pay for fire equipment (Page 1029)
http://www.legis.gov.bc.ca/cmt/37thparl/session-3/fgs/hansard/n21002a.htm

For instance, in our area, Fintry Park charges an $18.50 camping fee now, and if our proposal went through, it would be a $19 fee.

In our case, we would like the moneys collected, if it went ahead, made payable to the regional district of the Central Okanagan on a yearly basis at the end of the camping season. We would like to see the funds generated go into our equipment reserve fund, which is a savings account for us if we have major capital expenditures on trucks or repairs of that sort or if we add equipment to the fire department. That way the money would be spent on equipment.

http://www.leg.bc.ca/cmt/37thparl/session-3/fgs/hansard/n21002a.htm

Blue Divider Line

April 8, 2002 North Westside Road Volunteer Fire Department $1,200.00 grant-in-aid for office equipment.

docs/boards_committees/rpts/2002/apr_8_02.pdf

Blue Divider Line

On page 5 it says that the North Westside Fire Rescue received a gaming grant of $20,000 2006/2007.

http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/gaming/reports/docs/grants-environment-public-safety-2006-07.pdf

Blue Divider Line

Re:  Wayne Carson Fire Chief

"Manpower with us, as a volunteer fire department, is critical. We're a bedroom community, and a lot of our manpower is away and working during the day. On occasion we're kind of pressed for manpower during the day."

source http://www.leg.bc.ca/

Blue Divider Line

What if all of the equipment and manpower available at that particular time were occupied in the park, handling a call down there, and were not available to taxpayers should they need our help? Manpower with us, as a volunteer fire department, is critical.
We're a bedroom community, and a lot of our manpower is away and working during the day. On occasion we're kind of pressed for manpower during the day.

Source Queens Printer

Blue Divider Line

Should the road leading up to the Killiney Beach firehall not be a fire access lane?

Blue Divider Line

We saw this smoke while driving down Westside Road near Valley of the Sun looking towards O'Keefe Ranch way.
We saw this smoke while driving down Westside Road near Valley of the Sun looking towards O'Keefe Ranch way.

Subdivision lot burning the cleared brush and getting ready to build.
We ended up having to drive by the smoke we saw while driving and this is what we saw; cleared brush burning on property owners land in a subdivision.  We remember seeing this cleared brush piled there last year and we remember talking to the homeowner at that time.  He said he had to leave the brush piled on his property until he was permitted to burn.  There are burning regulations and bylaws.  This property owner has to wait for the correct venting index to burn his cleared brush and maybe has to wait for the brush to dry so it doesn't smoke as much.

Regional District of Central Okanagan Smoke Control and North Westside Fire Bylaws

Blue Divider Line

Fires causing smoke seen from the hill at Valley of the Sun.
This photo is towards Vernon down Westside Road BC

Blue Divider Line

Re: Shorts Creek Firehall

In particular, I want to acknowledge the work of Fire Chief Wayne Carson for his vision and determination - and finding common ground around which the community rallied. A couple of other folks, Norm McLeod and Jim Edgson, also played significant roles moving this project along.

.......

Association President Harry Pospolita took on the role of contractor/manager and along with folks like Ian Kilpatrick, Andre Desjardins, Ed Page, Roy Jahelka and Bill Alcock they went to work

source http://www.rickthorpemla.bc.ca/EN/1229/35213?PHPSESSID=89b18c654e1daf833be39400ecdac5ea

Blue Divider Line

To conclude his presentation, Wayne advised that the Department is looking to complete the existing 5 year plan, which is the building, tender and snuffer and to hold a referendum. The Department would also like to implement the 25 year plan to replace truck for the 2nd pumper in 2015

(source www.regionaldistrict.com)

Blue Divider Line

July 30, 2004
Community Working Together

The next challenge would be building the fire garage itself.  But as a volunteer fire department they fall under the jurisdiction of the regional district - which means the regional district would be responsible for building.

source http://www.rickthorpemla.bc.ca/EN/1229/35213?PHPSESSID=89b18c654e1daf833be39400ecdac5ea

Blue Divider Line

Vernon Morning Star Oct 12, 2007 says campfires may be getting doused now!

read more about campfires being banned

Blue Divider Line

Benefits of becoming a paid on-call fire fighter and/or first responder
click flyer we found on local bulletin board for larger print
Benefits of becoming a paid on-call fire fighter and/or first responder.

Blue Divider Line

Inventory of Air Quality Bylaws in British Columbia for:
Anti-Idling,
Open-Burning, and
Wood-Burning-Appliances

This report focuses on bylaws put in place by regional districts and incorporated municipality bylaws relate to air quality. The purpose of this review was to take inventory of what exists for future policy work and to respond to public inquiries. The bylaws that were focussed on concerned vehicle idling, open burning, and wood burning appliances.

Blue Divider Line

Some advice we were given about chimney fires.

When talking to one older gentleman walking, he mentioned that he has had 3 chimney fires in 25 years. He gave us the impression that he feels they may be unavoidable.  okanaganlakebc.ca believes there are things you can do to help.  If you burn hot once in awhile it will burn the creosote up (creosote is that shiny black thin build up on the inside walls of the your pipe and chimney cap which remains on the walls after you clean it with your chimney brush).  Before the creosote builds up to an uncontrollable amount....you should have smaller chimney fires more often than one big chimney fire in the end.  We feel pellet stoves are just as susceptible to a fire as a wood stove... depending on how you burn and look after your chimney pipe and cap.  Don't push all your creosote to your cap by cleaning your chimney from the bottom without climbing to the chimney cap and cleaning it to or you may just have a campfire on your roof.  With a pellet stove chimney or wood burning chimney piece that you can remove like the cap, take a piece of burning newspaper or torch and burn the insides of your chimney cap and pipe a bit if you can to burn off the creosote when you see it start building up.  We were told by a professional Chimney Sweeper that if you have a fire in your chimney... open the stove door if you can, and throw a cup of water on the fire and close the door... that the steam will help put the chimney fire out.  We have not tried this, but we did try throwing a bucket of water (lol) inside the stove when just the cap (two stories up) was on fire, and it didn't seem to help.  It may have been because the cap had too much outside air for the steam to get there (*Note* Nothing was destroyed in this fire, and the fire dept was not called)Read more about this fire okanaganlakebc.ca had in the comments section

The reason why okanaganlakebc.ca is so concerned with fire is the pine beetle infestation, chimney fires, the loss of peoples homes and lives!  We feel these are all valid reasons to be concerned if there are any problems, and we are not saying there is, but there are questions we have heard from a few in the community which okanaganlakebc.ca picked up on.  okanaganlakebc.ca feel that the community needs to investigate.  If there are no problems then that's great, but if there are and we don't investigate, we could be suffering the consequences of our decision not to investigate later on.  We do not want to see any one individual including the Fire Chief (no matter what okanaganlakebc.ca's own individual opinion of the Fire Chief is, it doesn't matter...what does matter is that we are as safe as we can possibly be ... and just for the record we are not upset with the fire chief over anything to do with the fire dept ... its just the fire chiefs involvement with the North Westside Communities Association that we are upset about ... most locals here know we are not impressed with the Association running the rest of the community who do not belong.) get into trouble or be blamed over any matter no matter what people think.  Honestly all we want is for the community including okanaganlakebc.ca to be as safe as possible.  okanaganlakebc.ca feels that if there is discussion regarding the fire dept that maybe we will get some new ideas of how the fire dept can do better.... not that they aren't doing the best possible job they know how to do now, just like in every area of life we can always learn new stuff and improve.  We don't want to get stuck in old outdated ways when we can learn new and improved ways.  So people do you have any good ideas on how we can afford (like Art said in his comment) to get the fire dept (maybe one truck) to a fire faster or will it cost too much??  If everyone thinks about it, maybe we will come up with some solutions that will make things even better than they are now.  We would feel better if at least one truck could get there faster, how about you???  Maybe it would make a big difference, maybe not?  Maybe the Fire Chief could answer that question?  One Fire Dept member said that one of the best things we could do for ourselves is clear any dead brush, dead branches on the trees, dead trees, pine beetle infested trees, and rake up any dead debris on the ground on our own properties.

Maybe we can talk employers into giving everyone one day off to work with pay to clean up their yards, or even without pay, maybe 1/2 days pay???  Maybe we can talk the government into some type of incentive program that will work?  We need to get property owners out there helping to clean up their own properties!  There is a labour shortage here and if everyone did what they could in their own yards it may help.  We are going to send an email to RDCO asking if they can help with this thought or some type of incentive program for property owners.

Instead of burning, how about RDCO organizing a backhoe to go around each subdivision to dig a hole in each suitable yard so homeowners can throw their pine beetle killed trees and branches in the hole.  The backhoe could come back around to fill the hole and level the lawn. Lawns can be replanted if necessary. This may help homeowners with the expense if it was organized so the backhoe doesn't have to load and unload all the time.

Blue Divider Line

In 1991, the Thompson/Okanagan Inter-Agency Interface Committee was formed to address the growing interface fire problem in Kamloops and in the Okanagan region of British Columbia. Members of the committee include B.C. Ministry of Forests, the B.C. Fire Commissioner’s Office, municipal fire departments, regional districts, the RCMP, B.C. Hydro, and homeowners.

The Forest Service has completed several projects on public land using seasonal fire crews. Homeowners have also undertaken fuel modification projects. The B.C. Forest Service has completed fuel modification on public land adjacent to private land while private landowners have done fuel modification on their land. The City of Kamloops has performed fuel modification in forested areas within the city limits using funds from the city’s fuel modification budget and City crews to complete the work. Four major fuel modification projects have been started, with annual work being completed in each of the areas.

http://www.partnersinprotection.ab.ca/downloads/PDF/chapter8.pdf

Blue Divider Line

Let us know what you think about anything regarding your local Fire Dept.

If you have comments good or bad, solutions, concerns or complaints regarding the fire dept., campfires, forest fire hazards, pine beetle, or air quality, etc. in the Westside Road area, please make a comment to the community by filling out the form below, and/or comment to the Regional District of Central Okanagan directly, and/or contact the North Westside Fire Rescue Firehall.

http://nwfr.okanagan.net/

http://www.nwcr.ca/nwfr/

Email: n_westside_fire_rescue "at" telus.net

RDCO's website lists who is responsible at RDCO for Fire Services

The Governance and Services Committee is responsible for 911 Service and Emergency Planning

Blue Divider Line

North Westside Fire Dept Minutes of the Meetings - Spelled out and in date order

Also Bylaws with explanations of what is contained in the bylaw

Blue Divider Line

If the comment form below does not work,

Blue Divider Line

Comment on North Westside Road BC Fire Dept. to be posted here on okanaganlakebc.ca.

You are permitted to remain anonymous, just leave the text box blank.

NAME  
ADDRESS  
COMMUNITY    *required
(If your community is not listed above, please type it in below and choose "other community" above)
 
PHONE NUMBER  
EMAIL ADDRESS  
 disguise your email address from spam similar to this below
 name "at" hotmail.com
COMMENTS
*required
 
 

To help combat spam, please type any four letter word in the text box.                                                                                                                   *required

 

Blue Divider Line

View comments here.

Blue Divider Line

There are bigger things in life than money.  Bills for instance.

Blue Divider Line

Kelowna Mayor, Sharon Shepherd, says she already has her eye on borrowing a bylaw which has been successful in Vernon. "We've been looking at a 'Good Neighbour' bylaw that the City of Vernon has," says Shepherd. more

Blue Divider Line

Westside Road Gossip
Make a Comment

INDEX WR ] INDEX ALL ] Advis. Plan Comm ] Alt Approval ] Ambulance ] Argo Road Maint. ] BC Hydro ] Budget 2010 ] Budget 2011 ] Budget 2012 ] Budget 2013 ] Budget 2014 ] Budget 2015 ] Building Inspect ] Build Laws - BC ] Build Laws - RDCO ] Building Violations ] Bylaw Anon ] COW Elect. 08 ] COW Elect. 11 ] Director Edgson ] Dogs ] Easement Rds ] EDC ] Elect. Boundary ] Environ. Advisory ] ESS ] Finances ] Fintry Develop ] Fintry Park ] Fire Anon ] Fire Boat ] Fire Bylaws ] [ Fire Dept. ] Fire Dept FOI ] Fire Hydrants ] Fire Minutes ] Fires  House ] FOI Act ] Friends Fintry ] Garbage ] Garbage Area ] Garbage Bylaws ] Garbage Com 08 ] Garbage Contracts ] Garbage Finance ] Garbage FOI ] Garbage FOI ] Garbage LaCasa ] Garbage Locker ] Garbage Minutes ] Garbage NOWESI ] Garbage Ombudsman ] Garbage Prob ] Garbage Secret ] Garbage Solution ] Garbage Survey ] Garbage Traders ] Governance Wide ] Government ] Grants-in-aid ] Helicopters ] History ] Killiney Beach Park ] Killiney Hall ] LaCasa ] Motorized Rec. ] NWCA ] NWCA FOI ] NW OCP ] NW Parks ] OKIB ] OKIB Logging ] OKIB Road ] OKIB Tax ] Peacocks ] Police Tax ] Property Tax ] RDCO ] RDCO Dog Minutes ] RDCO Jokes ] RDCO Policy ] RDCO Regs ] Report Animals ] Residents Network ] Septic Systems ] Subdiv. History ] T. Mnt After Fire ] Terrace Mount. Fire ] Trench Burner ] Vote Boxes ] Water Budget 08 ] Water Budget 09 ] Water Budget 10 ] Water Bylaws ] Water Construct ] Water FOI ] Water Grants ] Water Judgement ] Water L Fintry ] Water Laws ] Water Meters ] Water Minutes ] Water Rates ] Water Right-of-Way ] Water Survey ] Water System ] Water Systems ] Water VOS ] Water VOS Pics ] Water Wells ] Water Well Data ] Westshore Playgrnd ] Westshore Sports ] Westside Rd. ] WR Development ] WR Incorporation ] WR Overpass ] WRIC ] Zoning Bylaw 66 ] Zoning Bylaw 81 ] Zoning Bylaw 871 ]

Blue Divider Line

Westside Road Gossip
Read Comments

Adv. Plan Comm. ] Alt. Approval ] Ambulance ] Argo Road ] BC Hydro ] Budget 2010 ] Budget 2011 ] Budget 2012 ] Budget 2013 ] Budget 2014 ] Budget 2015 ] Building Inspection ] Build Laws - BC ] Build Laws - RDCO ] Building Violations ] COW Elect 08 ] COW Elect. 11 ] Director Edgson ] Dogs ] Easement Roads ] EDC ] Elect. Boundary ] Environ. Advisory ] ESS ] Finance ] Fintry Develop ] Fintry Park ] Fire Boat ] Fire Bylaws ] Fire Dept. ] Fire Dept FOI ] Fire Hydrants ] Fire Minutes ] Fires House ] FOI Act ] Friends Fintry ] Garbage ] Garbage Area ] Garbage Bylaws ] Garb Comment 08 ] Garbage Contract ] Garbage Finance ] Garbage FOI ] Garbage FOI ] Garbage La Casa ] Garbage Locker ] Garbage Minutes ] Garbage NOWESI ] Garbage Ombudsman ] Garbage Questionaire ] Garbage Secret ] Garbage Solution ] Garbage Survey ] Garbage Traders ] Governance Wide ] Government ] Helicopters ] History ] Killiney Hall ] Killiney Park ] La Casa ] Motorized Rec. ] NW OCP ] NWCA ] NWCA FOI ] NW Parks ] OKIB ] OKIB Logging ] OKIB Road ] OKIB Tax ] Peacocks ] Police Tax ] Property Tax ] RDCO ] RDCO Dog Minutes ] RDCO Jokes ] RDCO Policy ] RDCO Regs ] Report Animals ] Septic Systems ] Subdiv. History ] T. Mtn After Fire ] Terrace Mnt. Fire ] Trench Burner ] Vote Box ] Water Budget 08 ] Water Budget 09 ] Water Budget 10 ] Water Bylaws ] Water Construct ] Water FOI ] Water Grants ] Water Judgements ] Water Laws ] Water Meters ] Water Minutes ] Water Rates ] Water Right-of-Way ] Water Survey ] Water System ] Water VOS ] Water VOS Pics ] Water Well Data ] Water Wells ] Westside Road ] WR Development ] WR Incorporation ] WR Overpass ] WRIC ] Zoning Bylaw 66 ] Zoning Bylaw 1981 ] Zoning Bylaw 871 ]

Blue Divider Line

Gossip
In Other Towns

INDEX ALL ] Boucherie Rd ] Kaleden ] Kelowna ] Naramata ] Oyama ] Peachland ] Penticton ] Summerland ] Vernon ] West Kelowna ] Westside Road ] Winfield ]

Blue Divider Line

Index

Boucherie Road ] Kaleden ] Kelowna ] Naramata ] Oyama ] Peachland ] Pentiction ] Summerland ] Vernon ] West Kelowna ] Westside Road ] Winfield ]

You will find local North Westside Road BC businesses, services, classifieds, local arts and crafts, vacation waterfront rentals, plus much more located near and around Okanagan Lake. We will be adding to this site, so come back and check it often.

Blue Divider Line

Disclaimer: Information posted on this website may not always necessarily be true, but is based on the best ability of the publisher of this website to decipher (under the basis that nobody's perfect).  Please be warned by this disclaimer that the publisher at okanaganlakebc.ca has been known to make mistakes before.  Please let the publisher know if you do notice any mistakes by filling out the feedback form, and mistakes will be corrected immediately.

©2006-2015 okanaganlakebc.ca