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Firefighting service training in region gets generous grant

Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
By Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
February 21st, 2023

Nearly $500,000 will be landing in the lap of regional district fire services as the province looks to bolster firefighting response in the West Kootenay.

The province’s Emergency Management and Climate Readiness ministry will be handing the Regional District of Central Kootenay $480,000 “to bolster firefighting response to make people and communities safer.”

The impetus of the grant cycle was to support communities with fire services delivered by volunteer or part-volunteer fire departments — a mix of paid staff and unpaid volunteers.

“These fire crews have different challenges than most fire departments, and this funding will go a long way by supporting them to purchase new or replacement equipment and deliver training,” said Bowinn Ma, minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness.

Although the grant is earmarked for fire service training, how that money will be spent locally and in which communities was not revealed.

For small rural fire departments, increasing expectations regarding emergency response services can be a challenge when serving communities with a small tax base. As a result, the grant funding will go toward meeting training and equipment needs that might have taken an extra year or two with normal resources.

Across the province, 114 volunteer and composite fire departments will receive a share of $6.3 million the ministry has designated for firefighting response.

• For more information about the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund, visit the Union of BC Municipalities’ website:


More to come …

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