The current Elko fire hall

The current Elko fire hall

Elko fire protection planned for fall 2015

The Regional District of East Kootenay is moving forward with its plans to implement fire protection services in Elko by fall 2015.

The Regional District of East Kootenay is moving forward with its plans to implement fire protection services in Elko by fall 2015.

The Service Establishment and Loan Authorization Bylaws — which allow Elko to outline what fire protection services they can provide and for the RDEK to borrow up to $710,000 to purchase or construct necessities for the program — were adopted at the Board of Director’s December meeting and represent the first steps to acquiring fire services.

Currently, there is no dedicated fire protection program in the area.

Electoral Area B Director Stan Doehle stressed that the program will train department members to be fast, first responders available to the community.

“You can’t say enough about first responders, they are life saving,” said Doehle, who is a former fire service volunteer who worked in the Elkford, Fernie and Baynes Lake fire departments for 22 years.

Regional District of East Kootenay staff is currently working to recruit volunteer firefighters, construct a fire hall and obtain necessary equipment.

According to RDEK Chief Financial Officer Shawn Tomlin, the plan to provide these services has been in progress since 2010 upon request of the Elko Community Association.

Once established, Tomlin said that Elko would receive proper services to suppress structural, wild land and vehicle fires as well as first responder medical response.