Funding for the two firefighter positions cut in the 2014 budget will be restored in the 2015 budget, Penticton city council announced Monday.
According to Mayor Garry Litke, the city has been in talks with the Penticton Indian Band since the spring, developing an agreement to provide fire protection, first responder and fire safety inspection services to the band’s 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.
Funding for the two firefighter positions is being restored, Litke said, to cover the expanded area of fire protection.
In addition, the city is adding a new position of fire training officer, who 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 training officer, said Fire Chief Wayne Williams, is the first step to developing the emergency training centre at the Dawson Avenue fire hall into a full-fledged accredited live fire training centre, serving the South Okanagan region.
See Wednesday’s Penticton Western News for more on this story.