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Posted: June 9, 2017

?aqam fire protection extended and expanded

On Thursday, June 1, ʔaq̓am Chief and Council signed an extension to the currently held Fire Protection Agreement with the City of Cranbrook. The extension adds the majority of residences and roadways in the community.

“For many years ?aqam as a community has been working hard to get its own volunteer fire department operational. Due to costs of infrastructure and equipment, dedicated volunteer hours required, increased insurance regulations and general liability for community members and ?aqam as an organization, it was deemed unfeasible at this time to further pursue the volunteer fire department model. From this conclusion in 2016, chief and council advised ?aqam staff to negotiate with the City of Cranbrook to look at having fire protection services extended into the community,” outlined an ?aqam news release.

The idea of an extension has been around for years, noted ?aqam Nasuʔkin (Chief) Joe Pierre. “The idea of entering into these negotiations has been on the table in excess of 20 years. The conclusion of this agreement is a clear demonstration of our communities working together and thinking outside of the box,” he said.

The agreement covers a 10-year period.

“Myself and council are very pleased that we are able to provide this service, which enhances the health and safety of the ?aqam community. I would also like to express our sincere thanks to fire chief Wayne Price and his department, as well as our city staff for bringing this much-needed service to the ?aqam community,” stated Mayor Lee Pratt.

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