PRRD considering moving fire dispatch services to Vancouver Island, will vote Thursday

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Fire Dispatch services could be on the way out of the Peace Region.

Byron Stewart, City Councillor with Fort St. John and also a Fort St. John director on the Peace River Regional Board said today that the current option on the table would see the Fire Dispatch services moved to Vancouver Island.

The PRRD currently receives its SSAP/Fire Dispatch services from the City of Fort St. John (North Peace Dispatch) and the City of Dawson Creek (South Peace Dispatch). In Dawson Creek, Fire Dispatch fees have gone up from $186,000 to $238,000 a year. In Fort St. John, Fire Dispatch fees have gone up from $186,000 to $220,000.

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The North Peace Fire Dispatch Centre provides emergency service for the Fort St. John and Charlie Lake Fire Departments and Hudson’s Hope and Taylor Fire and Rescue Service, while the South Peace Fire Dispatch Centre does the same thing for Fire Departments in Dawson Creek, Pouce Coupe, Tomslake, Tumbler Ridge, Chetwynd, Moberly Lake, and Arras.

The following recommendation is to be voted on Thursday at the PRRD board meeting:

“That the following resolution carried at the December 9, 2016 Regional Board Closed Meeting, be confirmed in open meeting: “That the Board support entering into a 5 year agreement with The North Island 9- 1-1 Corporation for the provision of fire dispatch services for the entire region for an estimated five year cost of $635,477.”

Stewart says that he doesn’t agree with the decision.

“Personally… I think this recommendation is terrible and I will be voting against it. We cannot be reliant upon those living in Vancouver and Vancouver Island to provide our safety services… once gone south, we will never get these emergency services back… we all know this to be true.

The decision on this matter is to made on Thursday. I encourage all to email your thoughts and opinions on this matter to the PRRD Board and staff. It’s not to late to for the Board to reconsider. Just think about the frustration involved in explaining your emergency to someone that has no idea about the north or the communities we live in.”

Stewart is encouraging everyone to email directors and let them know how they feel before the meeting.

Below is a copy of the Facebook post from Byron Stewart. If you would like to email a director, you can find the emails in his post.

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