Message from RDCO on the NWFR Situation

As many of the issues currently plaguing the NWFR most are HR in nature and therefore confidential and dealt with in confidential meetings and In Camera sessions for the Board. As a result very little accurate information is available.  I have received  some Key Points from the RDCO on NWFR that I can share with the community.

Key Points:

  • We recognize this is a difficult time in the community with changes in the fire department. Our continued priority is community safety and there will be no change in the level of service that will be provided to North Westside residents.
  • At a training meeting last night, we had six members turn in their pagers, plus a further member submit for sick leave today.

o   We understand only through the media today that this was meant as a protest.  But as pagers, were turned in, we presumed that these members no longer intended to be active in the department and therefore would not be responding to any call-outs. We took immediate action to replace the empty positions so that we could ensure continued service.

o   The vacancies are being filled by three members who had previously volunteered for the department and are already trained.  An additional four members are in process and expected to confirm shortly (three of these individuals are also former members – one is a new recruit).

  • The department remains in good hands with experienced Captains stepping into Acting Deputy Chief roles. Graeme Headley will lead at Station 101 in Killiney Beach and Shawn Barnes at Station 102 at Short’s Creek. They are being supported by RDCO Fire Services Manager Ross Kotscherofski.

The Office of the Fire Commissioner is involved and that should bring reassurance to the fire department that all members will be treated fairly and with respect. This is all I can share at this time, I will update as good information comes available. I promise you it will not originate from Facebook.

Related Media

Global News  Doyle Potenteau  June 18, 2020 • 4:16 PM Motorcyclist airlifted after rope rescue from steep embankment near Fintry (was called to assist North Westside Fire…)  Wayne Moore June 18 2020 • 10:57 AM (also Lake Country CalendarNorth Westside residents ensured firefighting not compromised (The Regional District of Central Okanagan says it is working to replace firefighters…)

CASTANET Tension in the North Westside Fire Department boils over Firefighters walk in protest Wayne Moore – Jun 17, 2020 / 11:12 am 

Capital News North Westside firefighters replaced after protesting suspension of chief, deputy The RDCO said they have since recruited other officers to maintain the level of service in the community  Jun. 18, 2020 10:40 a.m.

Vernon Morning Star

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