Penticton firefighters extinguish the a shed fire near the end of the Okanagan River Channel last summer. The PFD is officially establishing its status as a full service department. (Mark Brett/Western News)

Penticton fire department going by the playbook

Fire department training exceeds official standards

A declaration of service level doesn’t really change anything for the Penticton Fire Department, according to fire chief Larry Watkinson.

Watkinson took his declaration the PFD is a full-service operations fire department with a component of interior operations, but says it was just bringing the department up to date on protocol.

Catching up on some old policies the department is updating including the operational guidelines, Watkinson realized the service level had never been officially declared.

“About four years ago, the provincial government made it mandatory that every jurisdiction has to declare a service level. It was primarily meant for the smaller communities,” said Watkinson, noting the directive stems from the fire death of Clearwater volunteer firefighter Chad Schapansky.

Schapansky died in 2004 when he fell through the floor of a burning Clearwater restaurant. He didn’t have a radio and a colleague used a cell phone to call for help.

The coroner’s report on his death recommended establishing a minimum training standard for volunteer firefighters and auditing the departments to make sure they lived up to it.

“The fire departments now have to declare a certain level of training,” said Watkinson. Full service is the highest level, he explained, and the PFD training goes above the standard laid out in the Structure Firefighters Competency and Training Playbook.

“We go well beyond that as an organization, even in the technical programs,” said Watkinson, adding that the PFD also has tower, swift water and marine rescue programs.

“We’ve established ourselves much higher than the full-service Playbook requirement would be,” said Watkinson.


Steve Kidd
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
Email me or message me on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Just Posted

Okanagan water board seeks mussels funding

Okanagan Basin Water Board sends request to new federal fisheries minister

Ash falling in the Okanagan

Reports on social media of ashes on cars around the Okanagan

Highway 3A pot plant pulls application

A controversial cannabis production facility has withdrawn an application

Snowy Mountain fire travelling away from communities

The Snowy Mountain fire near Keremeos remains at 13,359 hectares in size

Man dies in Penticton RCMP custody

An independent investigation is underway after a man died while in Penticton police custody Aug. 16

Kim XO is Black Press Media’s fashionista

Starting Sept. 7, stylist Kim XO will host Fashion Fridays on the Life channel on Black Press Meida

Kelowna Drag King rocks out into the spotlight

Suiting up in leather and spikes, to compete alongside the Queens

Minister optimistic after 2 days of Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Canadian and U.S. officials met in Nelson Wednesday and Thursday to discuss future of the treaty

RCMP appeal for tips, dashcam footage in German tourist shooting west of Calgary

The Durango crashed into the ditch after the shooting near the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre

2 nurses attacked at B.C. psych hospital, union calls for in-unit security

PHSA says that in-unit guards would do more harm than good

Former Shuswap optician won’t be jailed for sexually assaulting minor

Kenneth Pilkington sentenced to 24 months’ probation for offence three decades ago

Kelowna developer warns home buyers to look at more than the price tag

Kelowna developer Jeffrey Anderson wants first-time homeowners to look at more than the price tag.

Red Cross now accepting donations for those impacted by B.C. wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for help now and in the weeks and months ahead.

Most Read