Controversial position filled

Glen Gallamore has been hired to fill the new firefighter training position.

The Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue’s (KBRFR) new firefighter training position has been filled.

Glen Gallamore of Company 4 was hired internally to take on the new position and will begin his new role on September 14.

The training position came about after the Office of the Fire Commissioner came out with a firefighters competency and training playbook in September 2014.

According go the playbook, in order for a fire department to be a full services operations department, every firefighter must meet the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) 1001 Firefighter 2 Competencies.

Not all of KBRFR’s firefighters currently do.

So in June, the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary East End Services Committee voted for the KBRFR to be a full service operations fire department, and to create the firefighter training position.

“Our career staff are at 1001 level 2, but we need all our paid on-call members to be at that level … also,” said Terry Martin, regional fire chief. “So we felt that if we had a dedicated training officer that he could focus on training for all of our 80 or so—because it fluctuates that number—paid on-call members.”

Gallamore did do some training in his original position, but since he only worked two days and two nights a week, and had many other responsibilities—he was in charge of the radio systems, keeping hose records, and also went out on calls—that left little time for training.

A paid on-call firefighter was hired to take on Gallamore’s shift now that he’ll be training full time.

The new position stirred some controversy when the East End Services Committee voted to create it.

Rossland city councillor Lloyd McLellan was the only member of the committee opposed to the new position, and Mayor Kathy Moore went on record to say she thought there must have been a better way.

“For the amount of money we are now spending on a training officer, a fair number of people could have attended courses at the Justice Institute or a trainer could have been brought out,” she told Rossland News. “I realize this isn’t ideal, and maybe not feasible, but I don’t believe other alternatives were properly explored.”

Chief Martin is aware of the opposition, and says he respects the East End Services Committee, all of its members and Mayor Moore, but feels the new position was the best option.

“If we’re going to be a full service operations fire department, we have an obligation to have all our members trained to that level—that NFPA 1001 level 2—and we felt … that this was the best way to go to have everybody trained.”

Revenue for the KBRFR is provided in part through property tax requisitions from each municipality in the district and this year $3,253,000, or 17 percent of the total property tax requisitions, has been allocated to the department. That amount is up $189,000 from last year.

Rossland will contribute $511,000 of that, which represents 34 percent of the city’s total property tax requisition this year.

The new position is for a minimum of three years, and will be evaluated throughout that time. If things go well, the position will be extended.

 

Just Posted

All three victims identified in Fernie arena ammonia leak

Wayne Hornquist and Lloyd Smith were from Fernie and Jason Podloski from Turner Valley, Alta

Snow, rain and wind to hit Kootenay Pass over weekend: forecast

Environment Canada is calling for varying weather across the Kootenays this weekend

UPDATED: Hydro lines down near Moyie

Hydro lines affecting traffic on Highway 3 south of Moyie.

Resort municipality funding could terminate in 2018

The future of resort municipality funding is unclear.

Kootenay region unemployment highest in B.C.

The Kootenay region has the highest unemployment of any region in B.C.

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

WATCH: 10,000 signatures gained to stop ‘no pets’ rental policy

Pets OK BC said about 1,700 animals were surrendered to the BC SPCA last year due to housing issues

Silver Creek reacts after remains found, man arrested

Neighbours of property where remains were found say man arrested was sweet and polite

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Most Read