In 2012, the Penticton Fire Department relied on the assistance of firefighters and equipment from Naramata, Summerland and Forestry to battle blazes in the South Okanagan.
The mutual aid agreement will continue for another five years as the Penticton City Council has endorsed its renewal between:
- the Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen,
- District of Summerland
- the Hedley Improvement District
- the Oliver Fire Protection District
- the Osoyoos Rural Fire Protection District..
“There are some emergencies you can’t manage on your own and you need the mutual assistance,” said Penticton Fire Chief Wayne Williams.
In past months, Naramata called in Penticton to be on standby while they battled a house fire. Penticton in turn called Naramata for help with the Spiller Road house fire.
Summerland assisted Penticton with the Slack Alice’s fire and forestry crews helped battle a grass fire on Carmi Road.
The original Regional Fire Protection Mutual Aid Agreement was developed in November, 2004 and updated in December, 2007. That expired in December 2012.
The agreement provides for assistance by any community from another community in the event of an emergency situation.
The discretion to respond and the level of service rests directly with the fire chief official of each community.
If the closest fire department does not have the resources available, the next closest department would be requested.
The agreement is not intended to be relied upon to provide the fundamental firefighting services for other jurisdictions having that authority.
Dale Kronebusch, RDOS emergency services supervisor, said overall it is a beneficial sharing of resources without a cost implication.