A new fire protection agreement has been negotiated between the City of Revelstoke and the Columbia Shuswap Regional District.
The bylaw was read a first, second and third time at the regular council meeting on Tuesday.
Under the agreement, Revelstoke Fire Rescue will provide fire suppression, highway and road rescue, medical first responder, fire investigations and fire inspection services to residents of Electoral Area B of the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, however the agreement does not require the fire department to respond to grass or forest fires in the regional district except in BC Hydro Draw Down Lands.
The agreement was created with the help of a mediator after lengthy negotiations between the two governments, including a court injunction.
|The area covered by the Revelstoke Fire Department in the new agreement. (City of Revelstoke files)|
The agreement begins Sept. 1, 2018 and extends to Aug. 31, 2028 unless renegotiated.
The regional district will pay a proportionate share of the operating costs and capital expenditures for the service that will not exceed $1.35 per $1,000 of assessed property.
There are currently no fire hydrants in the area and the regional district has no plans on installing them, however the bylaw outlines that it is the regional districts responsibility to ensure that there is enough water to battle any blazes.
“Under no circumstances shall the city of its fire department be liable in any manner whatsoever with regard to the availability, or lack thereof, of sufficient water to fight any fire,” the bylaw reads.
The regional district will also be required to pay for a water tender and related equipment necessary to provide fire protection service to the area, to a maximum of $250,000.
The city will be purchasing a utility task vehicle or a rough terrain vehicle with fire suppression equipment in order to service the area. The regional district is required to pay for this equipment to a maximum of $50,000.
Under the past agreement, the city of Revelstoke had been providing fire protection service to the Columbia Shuswap Regional District’s Electoral Area B since 1980.
Negotiations to modernize the agreement began in 2014.