Fire hall ‘not short by any means’

Fire chief disputes Village's lack of firefighters

The Harrison Hot Springs Fire Department is currently at one of the highest levels it has ever seen, said Fire Chief Don Labossiere.

He was responding to a story in last week’s Observer in which Councillor Richard Shelley defended his decision to work as both a councillor and a local fire fighter.

His duals roles are being contested in court by Andrew Baziuk, who was also a contender in the recent municipal elections.

In an interview with the Observer, Shelley was referring to work day availability of fire fighters, not the fire hall in general.

However, Labossiere said that in times when the Harrison Hot Springs Fire Department is unavailable, they have an auto aid agreement with the District of Kent Fire Department.

“If we didn’t have enough members, it automatically kicks in at the three minute mark,” he said. “We can easily provide adequate response within our community.”

The department has had three recruiting drives and are currently have 20 members on strength.

“We are not short by any means,” he said.

A court date has not yet been set between Shelley and Baziuk. Firefighters are paid on-call in Harrison, and funding for the fire hall comes from the Village and is approved by council. Shelley has asked the Village to not pay him for his role as firefighter so that he would be considered a volunteer.

news@ahobserver.com

 

 

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