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Vernon fire chief summarizes 2013

2013 was a very busy year for the Vernon Fire Department

Fire Chief Keith Green summarized 2013 to Vernon City Council on Monday.

Some of the accomplishments Green noted were unifying the firefighting force from Stations 1 and 2 into a single command structure, assuming management responsibility for the Regional Fire Training Centre and significant investment in training hours to ensure consistency within the new deployment model. Brent Watson, ESS Coordinator explained the work their team did in the mitigation of several large-scale incidents.

Some of these notable events include:

  • the evacuation of 300 residents, the largest in the City’s history, during the Ellison Park interface fire
  • two major floods in Lumby
  • 31 other emergency incidents requiring evacuation.

Chief Green said these events required over 1,100 hours of operational support by 119 volunteers, six times busier proportionately than the City of Vancouver.

“Vernon Fire Rescue Services completed some important initiatives in 2013, with a focus on a service delivery model that is aligned with Council’s direction and current fiscal realities,” said Chief Keith Green.

“Looking forward, more of the same collaboration and teamwork harnessed in 2013 will further assist VFRS in delivering our services in the most effective, efficient and responsible manner possible.”

In addition, VFRS also conducted multiple community fire and life safety educational events, and firefighters volunteered hundreds of off-duty hours to raise over $24,000 for several local non-profit organizations.

The budget for Vernon Fire Rescue Services was just over $4.8M in 2014, accounting for about 12.5 per cent of the city's annual operating budget.

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