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Grand Forks looking to hire Deputy Fire Chief

Grand Forks is hiring an additional Deputy Fire Chief to assist current Deputy Fire Chief Kevin McKinnon (left) and Chief Dale Heriot. — Submitted photo

Grand Forks Fire Rescue is on the look out for an additional Deputy Fire Chief in the coming year.

The hiring is due to changing provincial regulations and over 50 percent increase in response volume since 2012 said a City press release Thursday.

"After a change in the dispatch protocols in 2013, call outs increased dramatically," said the release.

"From an average of about 300 responses per year in 2007 to 2012, and 2013 to 2017 saw an average closer to 450 responses per year. Similar sized communities with the same call volume like Revelstoke, Fernie, and Meritt have three or more full time staff."

The City said in addition to the call volume, the inspection responsibilities will increase under the province’s new Fire Safety Act.

"In addition to existing inspection duties within the City, the department may also be inspecting buildings in the Regional District. Under the new Act, the local government must implement “risk-based compliance monitoring system for public buildings”," the release said.

"That is, buildings with public occupancy like restaurants and retail stores must be inspected and the local government is responsible for enforcing compliance with the Act."

The province’s Structure Firefighters Competency and Training Playbook has more reporting requirements for training firefighters. The province wide minimum training standards require individualized training records for each firefighter recording all training received. The call volume, change to the Fire Safety Act, and the “Playbook” have increased the administrative duties of Grand Forks Fire / Rescue. The Deputy Chief of Training, Operations, and Administration will complement the existing management team in ensuring sustainable emergency protection for the area.

A third person in Grand Forks expands the ability of the fire department to ensure consistent response times. The department is looking for an experienced firefighter with NFPA 1001 training, working knowledge of the Incident Command System, and fire inspection and investigation experience. The job posting will be released in February 2018 with hiring concluded by March and the new position starting in April.