A rumour that the Sowchea/Luck Bay Fire Hall may be closing is not true. The District of Fort St. James and the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako would like to publicly state that there is no plan to close the Sowchea/Luck Bay Fire Hall or to discontinue fire protection services in the Sowchea/Luck Bay Rural Fire Protection Services Areas.
The Fire Underwriters Survey (FUS) have downgraded the Luck Bay Rural Fire Protection Service Area, which is the area west of Colony Point consisting of approximately 78 residences, from a 3B to a 5 rating which is termed ‘Unprotected’. The reason the FUS downgraded the rating is due to the fire department not having enough fire fighters able to meet the FUS’s requirement for responses to incidents in the Luck Bay Rural Fire Protection Service Area.
The 5 Rating may result in the residences in the Luck Bay Rural Fire Protection Area experiencing an increase in property insurance rates.
The District of Fort St. James Fire Department will continue to respond to all calls in the Luck Bay Rural Fire Protection Area to the best of its ability with available resources.
At a meeting held on January 28th, District of Fort St. James Mayor and Council members and the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako Electoral Area ‘C’ Director met with fire fighters and local government staff to talk about solutions to meet the minimum FUS requirements for protected status in a timely manner.
These actions will include:
– An immediate intake of new recruits, in addition to the scheduled Spring intake
– Enhancement of training opportunities
– Working with the FUS to better understand their rating system in order to set realistic goals toward meeting their requirements for protected status
– Development of a plan to improve communications both inter-departmentally and with the public.
District of Fort St. James Mayor and Council and the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako Electoral Area ‘C’ Director will hold a public meeting, the date to be announced, once the details of these actions have been determined.
For more information please contact:
Kevin Crook, Chief Administrative Officer
District of Fort St. James
Gail Chapman, Chief Administrative Officer
Regional District of Bulkley Nechako
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