Penticton emergency photographer answers call, day or night

Penticton's Skylar Noe-Vack, showing the dedication of a professional, will get up in the middle of the night to follow an emergency vehicle in order to photograph emergency scenes.
Image Credit: Contributed

PENTICTON - A Penticton man’s interest in photography and emergency services has made his photos a sought after commodity among media, police and fire services.

Skylar Noe-Vack, 20, has been following emergency vehicles around the city and throughout the South Okanagan since the fire at the Slack Alice bar back in 2012. He documented that fire with his camera and since then, when he’s not working, he has his ear glued to the scanner waiting for the next fire call.

He’s often one of the first on the scene. He shows up so often the RCMP and fire departments will look at his photos when circumstances regarding an incident aren’t clear.

Noe-Vack says he got interested in the fire department at an early age, having grown up around the fire hall.

“I’ve known the firefighters since I was really little. I used to hang around the fire hall all the time, and I do firefighting around the area as a B.C. forestry firefighter,” Noe-Vack says. “I’ve always liked the firefighting aspect of it, and now I just have a camera and video camera and go out and photograph all my friends on the department."

Noe-Vack says he screens some of the calls he hears on the scanner, opting for more unusual ones, or those of greater urgency.

“Sometimes there’s something there that you don’t often see,” he says, adding if he thinks it will be something people will be interested in, he’ll attend. He’s gone to car crashes in the rural area, and has attended structure fires as far away as Keremeos.

Noe-Vack says he posts his photographs on his own photography website. He says a local media outlet made a request for one of his photographs earlier this year and since then he has offered his photos to everyone on a Facebook page he created.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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