Columbia Valley Emergency Preparedness Fair Returns

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 24, 2017

Emergency Preparedness Fair Back for Third Year in the Columbia Valley

Education, learning and fun will once again be the focus of the 2017 Columbia Valley Emergency Preparedness Fair, set to go on May 6.

“The main focus of the day is on helping people prepare for an emergency, and a new feature this year will be the addition of Rotary Life Kits,” explains Columbia Valley Emergency Support Services Director / Deputy Emergency Program Coordinator Sharon Pasowisty. “We will also have volunteers on site handing out binders and helping people get started on making their own family emergency plan and 72-hour kits.”

Representatives from Emergency Social Services (ESS), BC Ambulance, the RCMP, Columbia Valley Search & Rescue, Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team, Holistic Emergency Preparedness, six fire departments and the RDEK Emergency Program will all be participating and showcasing a wide range of rescue equipment.

The Emergency Preparedness Fair runs on Saturday, May 6 from 10:00am to 4:00pm at the Windermere Fire Hall. There is no charge to attend.

There will be a fundraising barbecue to raise money for a new playground for Windermere Valley Childcare and fun for the whole family. “The entire day will be interactive and there will be something for people of all ages,” adds Pasowisty. “More importantly, it will help all those who attend be prepared for emergencies.”

For more information, call Pasowisty at 250-347-9043.

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Firefighter Recruitment Drive Kicks off in the RDEK

A region wide firefighter recruitment drive kicks off today in the Regional District of East Kootenay.

“Our fire departments play a pivotal role in our rural communities,” explains Elk Valley & South Country Fire Chief Dave Boreen. “To keep these departments running and able to answer the call, we need to have a dedicated core of firefighters and are looking to bolster our numbers in every department.”

The RDEK has fire departments in Jaffray, Baynes Lake, Elko, Hosmer, Fairmont, Windermere, Edgewater and Panorama and the goal of the campaign is to recruit 10 new members to each department other than Panorama, which has a full roster at this time.

“There are all kinds of different jobs people can do within the fire departments,” stresses Boreen. “From looking after the paperwork and filing end of things, to running hoses or working pumps, to putting on the gear and fighting the fire, we need people to fill a range of roles. The only requirement is an interest in helping their community and a commitment to training.”

Application forms are available on the RDEK’s website and at the Fire Halls. Packages will also be available during the recruitment campaign as firefighters go door to door within their communities. The deadline for applications to be submitted is December 15, 2016.

For More Information:
Martin Caldwell
Deputy Fire Chief, Columbia Valley Rural Fire & Rescue Service
250-342-6214

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RDEK to Investigate Purchase Option for Windermere Water

The RDEK Board of Directors has directed staff to investigate the purchase of Parr Utilities as an option to provide treated water for the Windermere Community Water System Service Area.

“We went out to the community in August to provide an update on where we are at in the process, review the options and get feedback. In general, there was support at those Open Houses and from our Utility Advisory Commission to explore the purchase option in more detail,” says RDEK Electoral Area F Director Wendy Booth. “There are still many unknowns in terms of what the purchase would look like and staff will now begin the work of researching and getting those answers.”

The price, terms of a purchase agreement, impact to the Service Area and Parr’s existing customers are among the items that will have to be determined. “What the Board has done is approve staff doing a more detailed business case. Once that business case has been completed and we have the answers we need to fully understand what this option would entail, we will review it as a Board and with the community.” This will include consultation with Parr’s existing customers.

For any option to proceed, an elector assent process will have to take place. “The community will make the final decision on moving ahead with the project. This step of the process will make sure we have done our due diligence and have all of the information the community needs to make an informed decision.”

The Windermere Water System has been under a Water Quality Advisory since 2006. In order for the Advisory to be lifted, the water must meet Interior Health standards.

More information is available on the RDEK’s website: http://www.rdek.bc.ca.

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RDEK Director Acclaimed to UBCM Board

The East Kootenay will continue to have representation on a provincial level after RDEK Electoral Area F Director Wendy Booth was acclaimed as the First Vice President of the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) Executive.

“On behalf of the RDEK, I want to congratulate Electoral Area F Director Wendy Booth,” says RDEK Board Chair Rob Gay. “It is exciting to have her representing us at the UBCM level and know she will continue to be a strong advocate for policies and programming that will benefit all British Columbians.”

This will be Booth’s fourth year on the UBCM Executive. She was previously the Second Vice President and spent two years as a Director at Large. “It is an honour to be acclaimed by my peers,” says Booth. “I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the UBCM Executive and am eager to continue to learn and grow within my new role.”

The elections took place last week at the annual UBCM Convention in Vancouver.

For more information:
Rob Gay
RDEK Board Chair
250-489-4242

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Province Provides $1.47 Million for Flood Mitigation

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BC Fire Restrictions

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Area F Volunteers of The Year and Town Hall Meeting

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