The Pemberton Firefighters Association (PFA) has written a letter to Pemberton’s Mayor & Council disagreeing with a recently signed Fire Protection and Rescue Service Agreement signed by the Village of Pemberton and Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD).

The letter written by Ben Hansler, Vice President of the Pemberton Firefighters Association says they support providing the SLRD with fire protection, but members are concerned with the agreement in its current form. The letter says members are concerned about the expanded scope of responsibilities and inclusion of fire medical services into the road rescue definition; ‘Pemberton Fire Rescue (PFR) has always provided road rescue services to Area C, this, however, never included first responder medical services’.

The PFA is also worried about costs to the community of Pemberton, including wear and tear on equipment and vehicles, as they now have to attend remote calls to areas like the Skookumchuck Hot Springs. Hansler questions how Pemberton residents and PFR benefit from the agreement, siting possible increased costs and tax hikes; ‘the agreement leaves no discretion to the Village of Pemberton fire fighters or the Village residents who actually hold the burden of true cost and responsibility for funding the departments activities’.

The association wants to see an agreement where they provide the SLRD with fire protection for a set fee, with the SLRD not having any control or say over the Pemberton Fire Rescue department – leaving those decisions to the Village of Pemberton. Hansler has requested the opportunity to review and provide comments on any agreements before being agreed too.

The Village of Pemberton issued a statement in response to the letter saying they ‘value the specialized knowledge and feedback from members of PFR, especially when it comes to the safe and effective delivery of Fire Services’. The statement says the health, safety and well-being of members is of utmost importance to their organization and they are committed to working with the members of Pemberton Fire Rescue and the PFA to address their concerns directly.

The Village of Pemberton says that Pemberton Fire Rescue has been providing rescue services for Pemberton and SLRD Area C for over 20 years and that the The Fire Services Agreement renewal ‘formalizes the services that PFR has been providing’ and maintains the same level of service historically provided while ‘increasing capacity and financial security of the department’.


Filed under: Firefighter, Pemberton, Pemberton Fire Rescue, Pemberton Firefighters Association, SLRD, Squamish-Lillooet Region District, Village of Pemberton