Having Salmon Arm’s fire dispatch centre hundreds of kilometres away from the city is not creating any gaps in service.
In 2010, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District signed an agreement with the City of Surrey to provide fire dispatch services for the regional district’s volunteer fire departments, its member municipalities and the townsite of Field – making a total of 18 fire departments.
Three years earlier, Salmon Arm had discovered it would be costly to make necessary upgrades to its dispatching centre infrastructure. Signing on to the regional district agreement meant considerable savings.
At its Nov. 24 meeting, city council approved an extension of the city’s agreement with the regional district for another five years.
The city will pay just over $19,000 in the first year going up to about $21,500 in 2019.
The city’s corporate officer, Erin Jackson, told council she spoke to fire chief Brad Shirley, who voiced no concerns with the service over the past three years.
“It’s also a fraction of the cost of operating a dispatch locally,” Jackson said.
Coun. Alan Harrison said that with the cost saving and the fire chief’s endorsement of the service, “it’s a pretty easy decision.”