Staff shortages ‘brown out’ West Kelowna Fire Rescue Station 33

10 new firefighters to join in September

West Kelowna Fire Rescue Station 33 was left unmanned on Saturday due to staff shortages and the fire chief said it is cause for concern.

“This is an option of last resort,” Fire Chief Jason Brolund said. “It’s not done without a lot of consideration.”

The Lakeview Heights station closure marks the second time the fire department has had to “brown out” because of staffing reasons. The station was closed from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m., but Brolund said the hall was fully staffed that night and Sunday.

Brolund said the decision to temporarily close the stations is about balancing community safety and the safety and health of firefighters who have completed extended tours of duty.

“The public should know there is a contingency plan in place and fire engines from three other fires halls in West Kelowna could respond to any emergency,” he said.

Fortunately, there were no major calls requiring service on Saturday, Brolund said.

The staffing issues should be remedied by September as the fire department will welcome 10 new members to its team.

Caitlin Clow
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
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