New chief announced for North Westside Fire Rescue department

*Note: This appointment was made with no discussion or consultation with the Electoral Area Director.

Good afternoon Regional Board members,

I wanted to inform the Regional Board that we have finished the competitive hiring process for the Chief of the North Westside Fire and Rescue (NWFR).

Resident safety and protection is and always has been a priority of the RDCO and the NWFR. I recognize this position is important in the community and am pleased to share that we have signed an employment agreement with a qualified candidate.

The successful candidate is Ross Kotscherofski. Ross has been in the Fire Services Manager position since 2017. He will be starting in his new role on August 31, 2022 and is anticipating a move to the North Westside with his family over the next year.

Ross has over 8 years of experience as a full-time firefighter, trainer and administrator, with previous experience as an Emergency Medical Responder.

  • Ross has extensive experience working within NWFR. He has been our Fire Services Manager for five years and worked at the NWFR as a firefighter, Lieutenant and Training Officer from 2015-2017.
  • He has considerable experience fighting wildfires and has acted in the role of Structural Protection Specialist, Incident Commander and Task Force Leader.
  • Ross has an additional training specialization for both Officers and firefighters. His experience includes leading training for the RDNO Fire Departments, Wilsons Landing and NWFR and training new firefighters through the Justice Institute of BC

Ross will be a full-time employee with the Regional District, sharing his time between the Chief role at NWFR and supporting the other RDCO fire departments. He will be able work on some projects that will benefit all the departments, like updating Standard Operating Guidelines, improving record keeping processes and standardizing training across departments.

With the current Fire Services Manager taking on the role of NWFR Chief, it is an opportunity for RDCO Administration to review the Fire service, its staffing and reporting structure. We are also awaiting Dave Mitchell and Associates’ final report outlining a comprehensive review of the Fire Services function. It will be considered by the Regional Board in early 2023.

Until the Fire Services Review is complete, the Fire Services portfolio has been transferred to Corporate Services and the Fire Chiefs will report to Deputy CAO, Corie Griffiths. At that time, we will forward budgets in support of the recommendations in the Mitchell Report and make decisions on how we’ll move forward in 2023.

Outlined below are key points and some FAQs that you may want to use if you have inquiries from local media or members of the public.

Notwithstanding this being a personnel matter, I would be pleased to answer any questions the Board may have.

Best regards,

Brian Reardon, CAO
Brian Reardon | Corporate Administration

Regional District of Central Okanagan
250-469-6235 |
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Global News  (also Daily Courier, KelownaNow, West K News, Lake Country Calendar, Vernon Morning Star, Fire Fighting in Canada) CA September 1 2022 • 10:57 AM New chief announced for North Westside Fire Rescue department (was previously the Regional District of the Central Okanagan’s fire services manager and according to the regional district, has emergency …)

CKFR-AM August 31 2022 • 6:49 AM New Fire Chief named for North Westside Fire Rescue (… specifically for its fire protection area and is funded by property owners living within the fire department jurisdiction. Visit …)

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