West Kelowna beefing up firefighting response

More firefighters assigned to help deal with ongoing extreme risk due to weather.

In response to the persistent extreme fire danger in our area and across the province, West Kelowna Fire Rescue has announced it is putting in place enhancements to the fire service for both West Kelowna and the Westbank First Nation.

According to the fire department, effective immediately, the fire service will include:

• The addition of one full-time firefighter per shift at the the Lakeview Heights fire hall, increasing the number of firefighters on shift to four from three.

• Creation of a dedicated roster of paid, on-call firefighters for the Glenrosa and Rose Valley fire halls, ensuring immediate availability of these staff to respond to call-outs if needed.

• The addition of one chief officer on call, 24-hours-per-day, seven-days-per week, supporting the department, deployment and command of major responses.

The changes have been put in place to help ensure West Kelowna Fire Rescue is best able to address fire threat in the community during what the department describes as “these extraordinary circumstances.”

This enhanced service will remain in place until conditions improve. The additional cost to provide the enhanced service is estimated at $88,200.