Two new fire halls

Kelowna will require two new fire halls in the city within the next 10 years.

That's one of several recommendations contained within the Kelowna Fire Department's 2012-2022 Strategic Plan.

The plan will be presented to City Council when it next sits Monday afternoon.

The Strategic Plan was written as part of a lengthy review of the current 2010-2019 Strategic Plan.

"Today, local government is facing strong demands for cost reduction and increased value in the delivery of services. Politicians and leaders in local government are relentlessly looking for strategies that balance public expectations, deliver valued services/programs while maintaining fiscal restrain amidst global, international, national and local economic realities," writes Fire Chief, Jeff Carlisle in his 162 page report.

"For these reasons a review of the KFD 2010-2019 Strategic Plan was considered timely."

Carlisle says the review also verified a number of recommendations in the previous plan had been completed since April, 2010 and a number of key recommendations were no longer required.

Several of those included staffing recommendations Carlisle stated were not needed including an additional administrative clerk, additional fire inspector positions and an additional assistant training officer position.

Those changes will save taxpayers more than $375,000.

The plan does point to the ongoing need for a new fire hall in Glenmore which has been in the planning stages for a few years and possibly a second new fire station in the KLO/Gordon area.

"Subject to further densification and validation for emergency response statistics, construct a fire station in the KLO/Gordon Drive area. This review identified that there is a current gap in the distribution of resources in the immediate area of the South Pandosy urban centre and a lack of resource concentration to back up the Mission fire station," the report states.

Another of the 26 recommendations are to construct a multi-use training facility as part of a new Glenmore fire hall.

The facility could be a collaborative effort between various first responders as well as UBC Okanagan, FortisBC, YLW, WorkSafe BC and others. The facility would enable on duty training, thus cutting down on overtime costs incurred by sending staff out of town to train.

The report states the facility could also be used as a revenue generator by drawing others from around the region to Kelowna.

Other key elements of the report include:

  • Completion of a Master Plan to outline short, medium and long term goals over the next 10 years
  • Adopt a Standard of Response Cover report establishing KFD will endeavour to achieve a four minute travel time response for first engine response within the Urban Gowth Boundary and eight to 10 minutes outside the Urban Growth Boundary
  • Relocation of the Emergency Operation Centre
  • Adopt a revised replacement schedule of fire apparatus
  • Conduct a review of the Paid On Call deployment system.
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