February 22, 2016 - 4:38 PM
KELOWNA - If and when the Kelowna Fire Department gets a new fire hall, it will be in North Glenmore.
And if fire department planners could start from scratch, the downtown Kelowna fire station No. 2 would be ideally located at Ethel Street and Highway 97.
That’s what the department’s predictive modeling and dynamic deployment system has told them; North Glenmore is underserved for fire and rescue services and in a perfect world, the fire hall now located in a quaint historic building on Water Street, would be moved.
“If you had your way, you certainly wouldn’t put it right in the downtown core like that,” fire chief Jeff Carlisle said.
Kelowna councillors heard from Carlise as a prelude to the introduction of the department’s strategic plan next week.
They also learned Water Street fire station is the busiest in the city, responding from its downtown location to 3,551 calls last year, followed by station No. 3 in Rutland with 2,426 calls and the main fire station No. 1 on Enterprise rolling on 2,340 service calls.
By far the bulk of 10,736 calls last year were for medical first response (7,101) followed by fire call-outs (1,632) and motor vehicle incidents (868). The department performed eight techical rescues and 34 marine rescues in 2015.
Incidents peaked last year in July at 999 with March to August being the department’s busiest months.
Carlisle told council the fire department employs 96 career firefighters and 45 paid on-call firefighters spread out over seven fire stations.
The department maintains an effective response force of 16 firefighters at all times, considered the minimum effective response size for a single family residential house fire.
Response times for incidents inside the so-called permanent growth boundary — nine minutes, 31 seconds for 90 per cent of calls — do not meet the department’s internal goal of seven minutes, 40 seconds.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016