Kelowna awarded RDOS fire dispatch contract

Kelowna has been awarded a five year contract to provide fire dispatch service to all the communities in the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen.

Kelowna has been awarded a five year contract to provide fire dispatch service to all the communities in the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen.

All the Penticton contingent of the regional district board voted against handing the contract to Kelowna, with the assistance of votes from Oliver Mayor Pat Hampson and Princeton Mayor Randy McLean. Still it was not enough.

One of the sticking points for those who voted in favour of awarding the contract to Kelowna was the disparity in bids. Penticton, who currently provides the service, came in with a $2,865,000 bid, while Kelowna came in at the lowest offer from the request for proposals at $1,075,999. Surrey fire service and the Fraser Valley Regional District were also much lower than the Penticton bid.

“There were four contractors here and Penticton has put forward a very high price, an incredibly high price. And, I can tell you every year I have had to vote on this since 2003 I have come out swinging my fist saying there is no way I am going to support moving dispatch out of Penticton. And, in particular, seeing a couple people die out of the Naramata area as a result of Kelowna RCMP dispatch sending people to the wrong address, for example Chute Lake road on the Kelowna side,” said Naramata director Tom Chapman. “I am almost embarrassed, with all due respect, of the cost differential between Penticton and the other three departments.”

Penticton councillor and regional district board member Garry Litke expressed a concern that when the request for proposal was put out the bidders did not find out until later that there was an additional 4,700 extra calls a year and when that information came forward to the bidders their costs didn’t flinch.

“I can’t believe that Kelowna would accept an additional 4,700 calls a year with no increase in cost and can absorb it at the same price. It is difficult to believe,” said Litke.

Concerns about using radio over internet protocol was also raised by Litke.

“My understanding is that in the South Okanagan, in particular the Anarchist, the internet often goes down. So when the internet goes down what happens to your 9-1-1 service? People are going to be left with their lives hanging in the balance while somebody tries to figure out how to re-establish communication,” said Litke. “It all comes down to lives. How much is a life worth? If we are going to start saying that $5 to $6 a household is what the price of a life is well, then I have a problem with that.”

The current fire dispatch contract with Penticton runs out on Dec. 31. For a full story on this see Wednesday’s Penticton Western News or visit www.pentictonwesternnews.com.

Just Posted

Fundraising effort for man assaulted at Penticton nightclub

A GoFundMe account was created to assist the Penticton man that was assaulted

Osoyoos looking at two more councillors

The increase would take council from five to seven members, on par with their neighbours in Oliver

Forgoing Christmas gifts to help the Salvation Army

Penticton group gives to Salvation Army

Photos: West Bench Elementary Christmas Variety Show

Penticton schools are in full Christmas mode with their annual concerts

Penticton man pleads guilty to creating a chid porn forum

Tyler Walker was instrumental in creating a forum online and was involved in moderating others

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Bear spray used in tenant dispute

Salmon Arm RCMP responding to Tappen home invasion find occupants sprayed in repllent

Home services, rental rates top concerns: B.C. seniors’ watchdog

Isobel Mackenzie’s annual report says B.C. has 32,000 more seniors than last year

‘Game-changing’ B.C.-born technology tests brain vital signs

B.C. neuroscientist describes the tech as ‘the world’s first objective physiological yard stick for brain function’

5-year anniversary of Sandy Hook shooting

When just saying ‘I’m from Newtown’ can be a cross to bear

Disney buying part of 21st Century Fox in $52.4B deal

Disney is buying a large part of the Murdoch family’s 21st Century Fox for about $52.4 billion

Bountiful polygamist believed he couldn’t be prosecuted: lawyer

Winston Blackmore’s lawyer says Blackmore did not believe he could be prosecuted

Woman charged after altercation injured baby in Toronto

Charges have been laid after a four-month-old baby girl was critically injured in Toronto

Anderson extends invitation to Liberal voters

Interim B.C. Conservative party leader invites “disenfranchised Liberal voters” to join his party

Most Read