The need for a third paid position within the Castlegar Fire Department has been recognized and building for the past several years, says Chief Gerry Rempel, and a formal request for funding to allow for such a hiring is presently before city council.
“When you look at comparable communities that have more manpower than us – even Kimberley, for example, has three paid positions – they’re having difficulty keeping up.”
Chief Rempel indicated the workload is proving to be a handful for himself and deputy chief Duane Monsen.
“The two of us are having difficulty meeting our requirements of building inspections. There’s a lot of public buildings in town that have to be inspected annually, at least. With bigger properties you can be there all day on some of them.”
The time commitment is significant, and, as with all FD activities, everything is dropped when an alarm goes off.
The position, if and when created is likely to be filled from within the volunteer department.
A decision on the possibility of funding for a second deputy chief is expected at the March 18 Castlegar City Council meeting.
“I think the budget’s going for third reading and approval tonight,” Rempel concluded, “I’m confident it’ll go through.”