June 11, 2013 - 11:29 AM
VERNON — City hall is turning down a community's plea for enhanced fire services without much debate.
Two weeks ago, a representative of Canadian Lakeview Estates approached council about the possibility of staffing the Okanagan Landing firehall with two full-time professional firefighters. Jim Dubois said emergency response times are not good enough at 14-20 minutes. "We find it very hard to accept insufficient emergency services that may result in the unnecessary loss of property or worse, the loss of life," he said.
But a report from Vernon Fire Rescue says response times are in line with industry standards and makes no recommendations for changing the present system.
"They're not below industry standards," Coun. Catherine Lord tells InfoTel News. "The standard response times for urban and suburban areas are different. (Lakeview Estates) is on par with outlying, suburban areas."
Lord says council made a previous agreement to operate the Okanagan Landing hall with volunteer firefighters only. "We're keeping with that resolution," she says.
According to the report, relocating the Okanagan Landing firehall (station 2) wouldn't improve response times for Lakeview Estates, and would actually worsen them for other residents, including those on Eastside Road.
Adding another station is something Lakeview Estates has been asking for since 2010, but Lord says the timing isn't right just yet for what is pegged at a $2 million project.
"Right now it doesn't warrant it," she says. "Not until there are a lot more residents."
Council accepted the report from fire chief Keith Green with little discussion at a meeting Monday and directed him to ensure copies were sent to the residents of Canadian Lakeview Estates.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at email@example.com or call (250)309-5230. Follow on Twitter @charhelston
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013