Four Cariboo Regional District (CRD) volunteer fire departments (VFD) have welcomed home new fire engines recently.
The Interlakes, Kersley, Lone Butte and Forest Grove VFDs all received new trucks over the past few months, with the last truck arriving March 11 in Lone Butte.
All four trucks replaced aging vehicles at the departments.
To meet certification requirements, all the CRD’s fire trucks are on a replacement schedule, which ensures property owners in CRD fire protection areas continue to receive fire insurance discounts, according to a news release from the CRD.
“It is always exciting to see shiny new trucks arrive at our fire departments to complement the hard work our volunteers put in,” CRD chair Margo Wagner said in the release.
“And it feels good knowing we are purchasing the trucks in a way that keeps tax rates manageable and keeps our fire departments certified. It is important the property owners in our fire protection areas continue to qualify for discounts on their insurance.”
Two alternative approval processes (AAPs) recently finished for new fire trucks for the Barlow Creek and Deka Lake volunteer fire departments.
With no opposition forms received, the CRD will order the new fire engines this year, and it is expected the departments will receive them early in 2021.
In the fall of 2020, the CRD will hold five additional AAPs regarding new trucks for the Lac La Hache, West Fraser, Ten Mile, Wildwood and Interlakes departments.
The AAPs are a way for the Regional District to gain public approval for using 10-year financing for the purchases. If the AAPs are successful, the trucks will be ordered in 2021 and delivered in 2022, according to the CRD.
An AAP is a “reverse” form of public assent where the proposed change will go ahead unless at least 10 per cent of the eligible voters submit a signed Elector Response Form saying they are against the proposal. This means the CRD will purchase the trucks through 10-year financing unless 10 per cent of the residents in the specific fire protection areas object.
The CRD says more information will be shared with property owners and residents in the five fire protection areas ahead of the AAP processes this fall.
The CRD’s Protective Services department provides a variety of services throughout the Cariboo Chilcotin, including 9-1-1, Emergency Planning, Search and Rescue, Highway Rescue, Structural Fire Protection and Wildland/Urban Interface Fuel Management, and the CRD has 14 volunteer fire departments.
For more information about the CRD’s volunteer fire departments or information about joining these groups of dedicated volunteers, visit cariboord.ca/firedepartments.