The City of Kimberley Fire Service Bylaw is about to go through some major changes. The current bylaw dates back to 1994 and Kimberley Fire Chief Rick Prasad says the new Bylaw will help provide clarity to the community regarding Fire Department Services.
At a regular City Council meeting on Monday, Oct. 23, Council voted unanimously in favour of the motion to give first reading to the Fire Service Bylaw.
“It’s more of a modernization of our old Bylaw,” said Prasad. “The old Bylaw is remnent of when we had the IFF members. The new one brings us up to meet the new legislative requirements, also prepares us for what we’re going to see in the next year or two as far as the new provincial fire safety Bylaw.”
The proposed Bylaw includes various requirements of the current B.C. Fire Services Act including references to service level policies, frequency of inspections and authorities that can be delegated. Additionally, it brings clarity to the list of services that the Fire Department will provide in accordance with the true hazards that the community and its citizens face.
Councillor Darryl Oakley asked if the new Bylaw would affect the current staffing for the fire service in Kimberley.
Prasad responded by saying, “this actually gives us power to delegate through the ranks, actually. Say a duty officer is on for the weekend, they can enforce Bylaws and have other responsibilities.”
“Have there been any major changes to it compared to the old one, other than modernizing it?” asked Councillor Albert Hoglund.
“It’s a substantial overhaul, there’s not much left from the old one,” replied Prasad. “A lot of the duties of the Fire Chief are still similar as far as powers for emergency operations and those situations.”
The new Bylaw allows Council to regulate, prohibit and impose requirements in relation to municipal services, emergency exits, smoke alarms and any matter within the scope of the Fire Services Act, and to authorize Prasad to exercise and designate certain powers in relation to the prevention and suppression of fires.