Staff shortages close West Kelowna fire station on Saturday - InfoNews

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Staff shortages close West Kelowna fire station on Saturday

Image Credit: West Kelowna Fire Rescue
May 25, 2019 - 5:00 PM

WEST KELOWNA - A West Kelowna fire station was uncharacteristically empty today due to staff shortages and illnesses.

West Kelowna Fire Chief Jason Brolund confirmed Station 32, located in Lakeview Heights, was closed on May 25 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. due to a lack of staff availability.

Brolund said two-to-three firefighters typically man Station 32. The department, which is facing a current staff shortage, also ran into unexpected illnesses and overtime issues this weekend. There was a basic lack of available firefighters. Brolund had to make the call to keep Station 32 closed.

"It's a balancing act," he said.

Brolund said the night shift will be covered at Station 32, although it could be closed again on Sunday, May 26. He said the department has contigency plans in place despite the station's closure.

"It's a very rare occurrence," he said. "The community remains protected."

Brolund said the staff shortage problem should be solved when 10 new firefighters arrive at the department in September.

West Kelowna council approved of the increase in firefighters back in January.

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