Public safety is on the line

Loss of the Penticton Regional Dispatch Centre creates unnecessary risk for the community

As a former dispatcher with the Regional Dispatch Centre in Penticton, I read your articles with great interest. I also found it interesting that another article appeared on Page 9 reporting that the regional district was waiting for a second part to their study to be prepared by Planetworks regarding the infrastructure that delivers the service. They were now going to look into that and pass that cost along to the fire departments and ultimately, the taxpayer. Is that a surprise? No. Sign me up for my new and improved delivery service, and then surprise — you have to pay for all the upgrades to get it to your department. And will the taxpayer ever know the real costs? No, that will be buried in the books, especially those services that the city has contracted out that we did for free.

Would you not make sure that you had your infrastructure in place before you allowed your delivery system to be compromised? And that it actually worked? If you were going to have a new fandangle system delivered to your house, would you not have to have the proper up-to-date lines installed first? Was this not putting the cart before the horse?

I hate to say I told you so (actually I’ve been waiting to say that), but you have now put firefighters and the general public in harm’s way. This is a huge safety issue. And something this important should be working properly — right out of the gate. Yes, you can expect some small glitches, but this was taken over on Dec. 7 and these problems should have been addressed in the first week.

Yes, the dispatchers in Penticton worked for years with old and sometimes no technology. That was through no fault of our own. The politicians didn’t want to spend the money. When you are behind the scenes, not right in their faces, it’s easy to sweep it aside.

But let me tell you, it’s better to have dispatchers working for you that know where you live and which department responds; that use their brains and use technology as a backup tool and not have a computer telling you where to go. This results in time delays in response, and if you have a scanner, you will have heard this over and over in the past five weeks. Departments in the south being dispatched to calls north of Kelowna with trucks assigned to the call from a different department. They keep saying that they have the technology to get the departments to the call in the form of a ‘rip and run’, but that piece of paper has to have the correct information first. Unreadable communications with departments relying on a rip and run that may or may not have correct information — totally unacceptable.

Do you think this service moved to Kelowna because it was a great deal? No. It moved as a result of contract negotiations between the city and the local IAFF. Plus the fact that the city was not willing to pay their fair share of the cost. Those doing the job in Kelowna are paid the same salary as those that did the job in Penticton. The city has played chicken with five local dispatch positions and, ultimately, your safety. And you are now getting what you paid for. I told you so.

Dawne Young

 

Penticton

 

 

Just Posted

Road work is underway in Penticton so traffic controllers are asking drivers to be aware. (Submitted)
Message to Penticton drivers: Slow down and pay attention in Cone Zones

Over the last 10 years in B.C., 12 roadside workers died and 207 were injured

Meghan Thompson and her daughter Kennedy Lanteigne were awarded bravery awards on Saturday for helping to save the life of a baby drowning off a Naramata beach last June. (Submitted)
Penticton mom and daughter receive bravery awards for saving baby from drowning

Off duty Penticton fire captain also awarded for saving the boy’s life last summer in Naramata

princess margaret
Penticton high school has COVID-19 exposure days

Princess Margaret Secondary had potential days of exposure May 10-12

Brandon Messier of Messier’s Concrete and Landscaping has added some unique, glowing features to his front yard at 28 Huth Ave. (Submitted)
PHOTOS: Glowing boulders popping up in Penticton yards

Local landscaper Brandon Messier also brought the Lost statue to its new home

There is nothing left of a structure that burned down in rural Summerland Saturday night. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Nothing left at fire scene in Summerland

Summerland firefighters arrived when the structure was fully engulfed in flames

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen (18) and Calgary Flames’ Josh Leivo, front right, vie for the puck as goalie Jacob Markstrom, back left, watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday, February 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen sued over alleged sexual assault

Statement of claim says the woman, identified only by her initials, suffered physical and emotional damages

A kite surfer gets some help out of the water from his wife and dog after the wind left his sails on Swan Lake Monday morning. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Downed parachuter on Swan Lake just a novice kite surfer

Emergency calls were downgraded after reports of a downed parachute changed

The first of the extended closures is wrapping up, with the Trans-Canada highway re-opening on weekends for travel. (Jack Stuemple photo)
Trans-Canada highway to open on weekends

The highway will be open starting on Friday for the long weekend

Rescue crews search for a missing diver in Okanagan Lake at Hot Sands Beach by the William R. Bennett Bridge on Sunday, May 16. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Missing Okanagan Lake diver presumed drowned, recovery efforts continue

Boaters are asked to stay away from the area as crews continue the search

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

(Kamloops This Week)
Puppy’s home in question as BC Supreme Court considers canine clash

Justice Joel Groves granted an injunction prohibiting the sale or transfer of the dog

Kayak the humpback whale was found dead on a Haida Gwaii beach on Saturday, May 15, 2021. (Marine Education and Research Society)
Kayak the humpback whale found dead on Haida Gwaii beach

Whale was estimated to be only 18 years old

Most Read