Eight members of the Golden Fire Rescue Service, along with one truck, are heading to the Olympics in Vancouver.
The Fire Rescue Service received approval to go to the Olympics from Town Council at a meeting last Tuesday, after winning a lottery-style draw from the BC Office of the Fire Commissioner.
The Golden fire crew will be going to the Olympics to provide extra coverage at the Whistler Olympic Park venue, where the Nordic events will be held.
Fire Chief Shawn Tomash says, “We found out just before Christmas that Golden was selected to go to the Olympics, along with one of our trucks. We went to Council to get approval, and they were probably just as excited as we were.”
This is an exciting opportunity for the crew who will go down and witness the games first hand. It will also benefit the Town, comments Tomash.
“This is definitely a nice perk for the crew. It will be an awesome experience, and the guys who go down will be paid their salary. Plus, the town is receiving $25,000 for sending the truck. We’ve already agreed to put the money back into the fire budget, and by putting the money back in the pool, it will reduce the cost for tax-payers. It’s a win-win,” says Tomash.
Tomash explains that the Fire Rescue Service will be sending its third line truck. The truck will be staffed by a Golden crew member 24 hours per day. Crew members will be working as the operators of the truck, and will be teamed up with firefighters from all over the province.”
Tomash also notes that in 2003, the Fire Rescue Service sent a truck down to Cranbrook to help with the wildfires. The money that was received from that operation was used to purchase the truck that is now being sent to the Olympics.
To determine which members of the fire crew would be selected to go, the Fire Recuse Service held an in-house lottery. Eight member will be going down in three shifts. There will be two shifts of three and a shift of two.
“Everyone is pretty excited right now,” says Tomash. “We’ve always said that we are as well trained as the best firefighters in the province. Now we have a chance to show that. Other fire crews know the firefighters of Golden.”
The first shift of fire-fighters will be leaving on February 10, and will begin work the following day. The last shift will be returning February 28.
Tomash also says that the reduced staff levels in town will not have any effect on fire services. He notes that there is always an officer on stand-by. Plus, there is also a mutual aid agreement in effect with the fire crew in Nicholson.