After sitting on the sidelines, Cherry Creek volunteer fire department has signed on to the Valley-wide automatic aid agreement brought in 5 years ago.
Cherry Creek fire chief Lucas Banton said they initially refused the agreement due to their own staffing level concerns, but they’ve seen the benefits to Beaver Creek, Sproat Lake, and City of Port Alberni fire departments.
While Cherry Creek has long had a mutual aid agreement where they could call upon other departments if needed, now those crews roll towards Cherry Creek automatically if there’s a structure fire, and volunteer departments will assist in the city if the fire is potentially volatile.
Banton said the number of structure fires over the past few years has decreased dramatically,reducing concerns about stretching volunteer resources too thin.
He said recent examples of quick responses from city firefighters to rural fires shows the benefit to Cherry Creek residents.