Posted by Bernard Dewonck on Aug 02, 2018

The Club welcomed Rotarian Janet Reeves, visiting from Chilliwack.


President Dave highlighted several important dates requiring member participation:


  • August 18 – hotdogs, water and popcorn sales at a Live in Lake Country musical evening – Beatles tribute band, 6:30 – 9:30 at Beasley Park. Sign-up sheet was circulated.
  • August 19 – annual Chamber of Commerce Car Show at Swalwell Park – popcorn and water sales, Rotary information booth, 10 am to 4 pm, sign-up sheet was circulated.
  • August 29 – new District Governor Sherry Chamberlain is hosting a BBQ for clubs in Areas 5 and 6, which includes clubs from Lake Country to Peachland, 4:30 – 8:30 pm, at the Mission Creek Park – Picnic Area, adjacent to Springfield Road.
  • Volunteers are needed to work at the next blood donor clinic at George Elliot Secondary School, on September 26.  A volunteer training session is scheduled for Friday Sept 21, from 5-7 p.m., if anyone wanted a 'refresher' or would like to become a volunteer.


Considering the extremely hot, dry weather we’ve been experiencing, Rotarians Steve Windsor, Director of Protective Services and Fire Chief for District of Lake Country, and Deputy Fire Chief Brent Penner provided a very timely overview of the District’s Fire Department.


The Department currently has 7 full time employees working Monday to Friday, and 55 on-call personnel who are paid when called out. They come from all walks of life and if self-employed, respond on their own time. Those who are employed often have to take vacation time to respond. It is estimated that Lake Country has the busiest on-call fire department in the province.


There are 3 stations in the District – Winfield, Oyama and Carr’s Landing. The Department has 6 engines, 1 tender, 1 bush truck, 1 ladder truck, 1 marine rescue boat as well as several pickup trucks and ATV’s.


In 2017, the Department responded to 1,134 incidents. These include structural and wildfires, flooding and assisting neighbouring Departments as the need arises, under reciprocal agreements. Typically, the annual cost of incidents within Lake Country amounts to $1 million or less; however, in 2017 this jumped to more than $14 million due to the Nighthawk fire, which burned several homes.


The Department has an extensive training program whose standards are equal those of the much larger Kelowna Department. Training of a new recruit takes about 5 months and covers structural and wildfires, marine incidents, ice rescue and road incidents (there are 130 – 140 road incidents a year).


The Department also conducts several fire prevention activities, including a program for Grade 3 students in local schools, participation in children’s festivals, fire extinguisher training for adults and inspections of structures, commercial and industrial sites. It has recently initiated a Mobile Water System – a sprinkler system than can be deployed in suitably accessible areas with a water source to reduce a fire hazard or help mitigate the advance of an existing fire.


The current main Winfield firehall is over 60 years old and is substandard regarding size, essential safety related-amenities for personnel, and structural integrity. The District owns land at the corner of Okanagan Centre Road East and Jardine Road on which it intends to build a new firehall to adequately and safely service the needs of a rapidly growing community. A referendum seeking approval for financing the new hall will be held in conjunction with this October’s municipal elections. Distribution of pertinent details and number of information meetings will be forthcoming prior to the election.


Speaker's Schedule


Our next breakfast meeting on August 9 will feature a speaker from the Okanagan Centre Museum.