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The Fire Side - Thomas Doherty

Flood safety tips

Mar 31, 2013 / 5:00 am

One of the increasing risks to human life and property is flooding. People, especially young children, fail to recognize how even little depths of water and/or currents can create an elevated hazard. Make sure you know what to do during a flood emergency. Flood facts A heavy...

Ice safety: myths & realities

Mar 3, 2013 / 5:00 am

It is of no surprise at this time of year when the temperatures begin to rise and the ice begins to melt that we see the news headlines such as these: “Fire Fighters Perform Dramatic Ice Rescue”, “Divers Recover Body”, ATV falls through Ice”, “Fisherman Falls...

Holiday Quick Tips

Dec 9, 2012 / 5:00 am

Smoke Alarms Smoke Alarms Save Lives Working smoke alarms save lives, cutting the risk of dying in a home fire in half. Smoke alarms should be installed and maintained in every home. Installation Smoke alarms should be installed in every sleeping room, outside each...

Open burning in the City of Kelowna

Oct 17, 2012 / 5:00 am

Every year the Kelowna Fire Department responds to numerous burning complaints across the City primarily during the regular burning season between October 1st and April 30th. On many of those occurrences the property representatives were unaware of the local bylaws in place that only permit burning...

Power outage safety tips

Aug 31, 2012 / 5:00 am

Be prepared….. knowing what to do in the event of a power outage can help reduce the risk to you, your family and your home. Preparing your home Have flashlights and battery-powered lighting ready to use and where they can easily be found in the dark. Avoid using candles and keep...

Do's and don'ts of barbecue season

Jul 7, 2012 / 5:00 am

Summer is all about “The Bar-B-Que”. Whether with family or friends, it is a time to get together and enjoy what cooking outdoors can provide. However, there are some common sense DO’s and DON’Ts with regards to barbecue preparation and maintenance that will ensure your...

FireSmart: Your home and wildfire

Jun 3, 2012 / 5:00 am

Is your home at risk? Wildland forest fires are capable of spreading at an astonishing rate. Crowning forest fires often spread up to 5.5 kilometers per hour, with spotting as far as 2 kilometers ahead. Windblown grass fires can spread at speeds up to 8.5 kilometers per hour. In British...
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Juvenile fire setters

Apr 24, 2012 / 5:00 am

Is it curiosity or a problem? Occurrences of juvenile fire setting, whether they are curiosity fire play or problem fire setting are a significant problem within our society. With any incident, there is serious potential for loss of life, injury or property damage. In most instances, it is...

Smoke-alarm campaign to save lives

Mar 25, 2012 / 5:00 am

NEWS RELEASE: March 22, 2012 BC Minister of Justice and Attorney General Shirley Bond and the President of the Fire Chiefs’ Association of BC, Surrey Fire Chief Len Garis have launched a smoke alarm campaign intended to ensure that every home in BC has a working smoke alarm, part of a...

Residential fire sprinkler systems

Feb 24, 2012 / 5:00 am

We hear a lot about fire sprinkler systems after a fire occurs, but little prior to or what the value is that they serve. A recent study was conducted by Fire Chief Len Garis and Dr Joseph Clare from Surrey Fire Services on sprinkler systems and fire outcomes in multi-level residential...

Smoke alarms: you are worth it!

Jan 26, 2012 / 5:00 am

Smoke alarms save lives in the event of residential structure fires. Analysis was undertaken on almost 50,000 fires that occurred in Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario over a five year period (up to October 2011) involving 663 fatalities. The findings demonstrated that the death rate per 1,000...

Ice safety

Dec 26, 2011 / 5:00 am

It is that time of year when many head out to enjoy Mother Nature’s natural playground, ice. But like any playground, we must remember to play safe. Below I have put together some important information, facts and safety tips for those heading out on the ice this season. Ice...

Dalmations & the Fire Service

Dec 12, 2011 / 5:00 am

Many of us have seen the spotted black and white dog associated with the Fire Service, but how many know the history of the Dalmatian and the role this valiant dog played in the Fire Service? Dalmatians have been around for about 600 years. So, to understand how the Dalmatian became the...

Christmas tree safety

Nov 28, 2011 / 5:00 am

As you deck the halls this holiday season, be fire smart. A small fire that spreads to a Christmas tree can grow large very quickly. Watch this video that shows a fire spread through a dry tree versus a fire spreading in a watered tree. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)...

Carbon Monoxide (CO) 'the silent killer'

Nov 14, 2011 / 5:00 am

The winter heating season is upon us, so it is a good time to remind people of the dangers of Carbon Monoxide. Carbon Monoxide (CO), which is often called “the silent killer”, is a gas you can’t see, taste or smell. It is created when fuels (such as kerosene, gasoline, wood,...

Be Halloween safe

Oct 31, 2011 / 8:00 am

Halloween is a fun and spooky time of the year for children. Make trick-or-treating safe for your little "monsters" with a few easy safety tips. When choosing a costume, stay away from billowing or long trail fabric. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure the...
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About the Author

Originally from Ladysmith, British Columbia, Thomas started his career with the Fire Service in February 1989 with Ladysmith Fire/Rescue where he spent 16 years in the positions of fire fighter, Lieutenant and later promoted to Deputy Fire Chief of Operations, Training and Prevention.

In 2004 Thomas relocated near the Okanagan where he accepted a position as Captain with the Big White Fire Department for the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary, British Columbia. After a short time, Thomas was promoted to Deputy Fire Chief where he managed the department’s fire prevention program and assisted in coordinating the departments training and operations.

In 2006, Thomas had the desire to work for a larger fire department and was given an opportunity with the Kelowna Fire Department, British Columbia. Initially starting his career with Kelowna as a Fire Dispatcher, Thomas worked his way to Fire Inspector in 2008 and in 2009 accepted the position of Assistant Fire Chief where he managed the Training Branch and the Regional Rescue Program for the Central Okanagan Regional District which consisted of Hazardous Materials Response, Technical High Angle Rescue, Tower Crane Rescue, Marine Rescue, Confined Space, Swift Water and Ice Rescue as well as Vehicle Rescue.

In 2011, after a leadership restructuring of the Kelowna Fire Department, Thomas was promoted to Deputy Fire Chief of Administration, Training and Fire Prevention. Throughout his career, Thomas has continued to build on his education, and fire service leadership where he currently is working on his Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Safety Studies as well as his Fire Service Leadership Diploma.

During his time in the fire service, Thomas also maintained a part time career for 10 years as a Paramedic with the British Columbia Ambulance Service, and served 10 years with the Search & Rescue on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

Thomas Doherty, Deputy Fire Chief
Kelowna Fire Department

E-mail: [email protected]




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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.




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