It’s positive reactions all around after 70 per cent of Whitecroft property owners voted to have Sun Peaks Fire Rescue (SPFR) protect them should a fire occur.
“I’m pleased with the outcome, as I hope the community is,” says Helen Jones, president of the Whitecroft Community Association. “It will be great to have the peace of mind for all of us and the protection from our close neighbours, Sun Peaks.”
Ron Storie, manager of community services for the Thompson-Nicola Regional District explains some logistics have to be addressed between now and January 1, 2015, the start date of the fire protection coverage.
“This is more of a process-driven thing where we now have to send something down to Victoria so they can speak to it, the board will have to adopt a bylaw. Then we’ll have to implement budgeting for next years’ budget before the coverage could start,” he says.
Storie shares Jones’ positive outlook about the final vote saying, “I’m just pleased that the residence definitely voiced in a strong manner that they wanted to see this service move forward. I think it’s great to see that the process works.”
Work has already begun in Whitecroft to prepare their resources for the protection, including upgrading the water reservoir, and installing a new hydrant. As for the fire department going through any additional training, SPFR Chief Bill Stoner says they’re, “pretty much ready to go right now, we just have to a little bit of familiarization with (Whitecroft’s) water supply system.”
He, too, thinks this voting outcome has opened new opportunities for both the Sun Peaks and Whitecroft communities.
“Whitecroft residence are our neighbours and many of the people in Whitecroft play an active role in our community and I’m happy that we can help them out in this way,” says Stoner. “I think with opening up the fire protection to the community of Whitecroft it’d be great to have some residence of Whitecroft join the Sun Peaks fire department.”