Osoyoos Fire Department gets grant, new wildfire equipment

Fire department gets $25K

Good news for fire services in Osoyoos this week — the fire department was successful in getting a grant for $25,000 and partnered with WASP manufacturing in preparation for the 2020 wildfire season. 

The Union of BC Municipalities awarded the grant for important emergency equipment that will "significantly elevate" the Osoyoos Fire Department's ability to fight wildfires in the urban interface, work a wet line from portable water supplies and set up sprinklers around structures and critical infrastructure. 

The equipment its fully interchangeable with that used by the BC Wildfire Service and mutual aid partners at Anarchist Mountain, Keremeos and Oliver.

The department has also partnered with WASP, a manufacturing company that is a major contributor of wildfire equipment. 

WASP has placed an Officer of the Fire Commissioner specified Type 2 Structure Protection Unit (SPU) with Osoyoos Fire Rescue. 

"This is a unique opportunity and a huge win for both our community and our members, to have this equipment to both train with and be part of a deployment model should there be a wildfire event that threatens homes, structures or key critical infrastructure," explained fire chief Dave McMahon.

SPUs are deployed when BC Wildfire makes that operational decision in conjunction with the OFC.

A Type 2 SPU is around $160,000 in total equipment & trailer costs, weigh around 10,000 to 12,000 pounds and typically have a SPU crew of six members.

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