PINANTAN — The importance of neighbours helping neighbours was highlighted Tuesday night (Aug. 16, 2016) at the annual general meeting of the Pinantan Lake Fire Association.
Three dozen people attended the meeting in the Pinantan Lake elementary school to elect a new executive and hear reports on a very busy year for the fire brigade.
Kelly Ashley will once again head up the association as president, while Brad Watson continues as fire chief. Most of the executive and directors stood for another term, with a couple of new members also elected.
Secretary-treasurer Rikki Ashley said training has been rigorous but costs have been kept low. Money has been raised through donations, fundraising and a GoFundMe campaign, as well as sale of the old fire truck for $4,000.
Expenses have included insurance and equipment. In the long term, stable funding would only be achieved through taxation, a move that was rejected by property owners a year ago.
Brad Watson outlined the challenges facing the brigade in achieving a high enough level of service to be eligible for reductions in home fire insurance. He said that while Pinantan doesn’t have a water system, installation of dry hydrants would help improve the rating,
The association has 34 members, with most serving on the brigade. The objective is to increase the number of brigade members to 30. The brigade practices almost every week.
Area P Director Mel Rothenburger (that’s me) said funding is an issue for all rural fire departments due largely to rising costs of equipment and training. He said a resolution by TNRD rural directors has been approved by the Southern Interior Local Government Association asking that fire protection be made an eligible expenditure of federal gas tax funds.
The resolution will be debated at the Union of B.C Municipalities convention in Victoria next month.