Investments in Fire Department boost training, community coverage

The City is investing in the Penticton Fire Department by adding a Fire Training Officer position to oversee best practices in fire protection service training.

“Creating a Training Officer position will raise the bar for the Penticton Fire Department,” said Mayor Garry Litke. “Skills development is critical to customer service and innovation, and these investments will ensure that the Penticton Fire Department is providing top-level fire protection to the community and beyond.”

The Fire Training Officer will be responsible for creating, implementing and co-ordinating the department training program for all staff, as well as serving as the technical training advisor internally and externally. The position was identified in the Penticton Fire Department Service Review as an investment that would assist with skills development.

The Fire Training Officer will assist the management team with operations and programs at the Emergency Training Centre at Fire Hall No. 2. This centre envisions serving the needs of the local department and South Okanagan region for live fire training, rather than sending career and auxiliary members out of the community for needed instruction – saving approximately 70% in training costs.

A proposed expansion of fire protection service areas precipitates additional investment into the Penticton Fire Department.

A letter of intent between the City and the Penticton Indian Band has been signed to facilitate fire protection services for new development and residential areas (non-native leasehold improvements) east of the Penticton Channel: Skaha Hills, Riva Ridge, Barefoot Beach Resort, Wright's Beach Campground and Red Wing. This includes the addition of First Responder services and fire safety inspections.

Due to the expanded area of fire protection, two firefighter positions will be added to the budget in 2015.

“These investments will go a long way to ensure Penticton Fire Department is well-trained and equipped to meet the needs of the growing community and safety of responders and residents,” said Fire Chief Wayne Williams.