Part of the Lheidli T’enneh reserve at Shelley now has fire protection, thanks to an agreement signed Monday between the band and the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George.
The two groups signed the historic agreement, which will see Shell-Glen Volunteer Fire Rescue provide services to the south side of the Lheidli T’enneh Indian Reserve #2, adjacent to Shelley.
“We would like to acknowledge and thank the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George in working with Lheidli T’enneh for this historic agreement for fire protection services to the south side,” said Chief Dominic Frederick, in a press release. “Throughout this process, we are striving to coordinate our emergency community planning for both north and south side, to look at emergency preparedness, response, and capacity building for our community members.”
It is a fee-for-service agreement that will span five years for a total of $39,400, or $7,880 per year. The agreement provides for fire protection services for structural fires and fires threatening structures on the reserve lands as well as the provision of emergency medical first responder services. Additionally, it provides an opportunity for members of the Lheidli T’enneh to become members of the Shell-Glen volunteer fire/rescue department.
“We know how quickly fire can devastate a community and the peace of mind that comes with having a dedicated fire protection service available,” said Art Kaehn, regional district chairman. “We thank the Lheidli T’enneh for working with us to develop this agreement so members of their community can enjoy the same peace of mind in knowing that if needed, help is on its way.”
The Shell-Glen Volunteer Fire/Rescue was established in 1991 and provides fire protection to the Shelley town site and surrounding area. Previous to this agreement, the department was only authorized to provide fire protection services to residents in its own service area. In order to extend the services, an agreement was needed to address any liability and legal issues.
“We are excited to see our service area expand to include the Lheidli T’enneh reserve,” said Shell-Glen Fire Chief Randy Kissel. “It provides an opportunity to expand our volunteer base to include Lheidli T’enneh members. But most importantly it will reduce the loss and devastation that fire can bring.”