Fire-fighting costs could rise under new provincial regulation

Lake Country concerned about new response times for firefighters

Lake Country officials are alarmed that new provincial rules could drive up firefighting costs.

The revised B.C. Building Code calls for firefighters to respond to a blaze at newly created lots in 10 minutes instead of the standard 15 minutes.

“It’s a significant concern for communities that rely on volunteer departments,” said Coun. Lisa Cameron.

“This (15-minute response time) does not threaten anyone’s safety. There was less loss of structures and damage due to fire last year.”

A 10-minute response time could lead to communities, such as Lake Country, having to hire full-time firefighters.

“It comes at a significant cost every time you add bodies,” said Cameron.

“Our firefighters do an amazing job and this (new code) somehow suggests they’re not as good.”

In a letter to Energy Minister Bill Bennett, Mayor James Baker says the new code could also drive up housing costs because it calls for fire sprinklers.

“Most importantly, a new public safety risk could result if much larger water connections required for sprinklering fail,” said Baker.

“We are concerned about the very real landslide risks in our hillside community and other property damage when the required larger water connections inevitably fail over time.”

Sprinklers could also force the municipality to upgrade water infrastructure to address increased pressure.

To express its concern, Lake Country council is asking the Southern Interior Local Government Association to support a resolution that calls for municipalities with volunteer fire departments to maintain 15-minute response times.

“Recognizing that we are balancing several conflicting aspects of safety, we respectfully ask that you allow the District of Lake Country to continue with our current 15-minute fire department response time in order to meet the building code requirements,” said Baker in his letter to Bennett.

Just Posted

Don’t swim in Mission Creek, says regional district

The Kelowna creek is flowing faster and is much colder with the upper elevation snowmelt

Central Okanagan EDC boss to sit on provincial board

Corie Griffiths elected to Local Government Management Association of B.C. board

Tourism Kelowna adopts sustainability initiative

Responsible to environment key to long-term tourism growth

Surprise hot air balloon landings in Kelowna

Balloon with 6 passengers aboard lands on Blondeaux Crescent

Nitro Circus show hits Apple Bowl Friday

Kelowna’s Bruce Cook, who was rendered a paraplegic in 2014, will perform in his hometown

Stranded couple rescued from Mission Creek

Rescue personnel brought two people ashore from an island after their rafts were swept away.

Horgan defends fight to both retain and restrict Alberta oil imports

Alberta says pipeline bottlenecks are kneecapping the industry, costing millions of dollars a day

Vernon woman captures prestigious foresty honour

Tanya Wick from Tolko wins Women In Forest Award of Excellence

Police release video on how to ‘run, hide, fight’ if there’s an active shooter

Vancouver police offer video with input from E-Comm, BC EHS, Vancouver Fire and Rescue

RCMP caution boaters after two kids pass out from carbon monoxide poisoning

Both children were given oxygen and taken to hospital

B.C. invests $115M to create 200 new nurse practitioner jobs

Health Minister says 780,000 B.C. residents don’t have a family doctor

Supreme Court rules social housing residents in B.C. deserve rights too

Tenants trying to stabilize their living situations should not face less legal rights than those paying market rates: Judge

Union calls on prime minister to step into ‘stalled’ Phoenix compensation talks

For more than two years, thousands of federal workers have been affected by Phoenix system

Judge: President Trump can’t block critics on Twitter

The judge had suggested that Trump mute rather than block some of his critics

Most Read