The Cariboo Regional District released the current roster strength in the region as of January 27, 2022. (CRD image)

The Cariboo Regional District released the current roster strength in the region as of January 27, 2022. (CRD image)

Cariboo Regional District releases fire department numbers before, after vaccine mandate

Roughly 74 per cent of rural firefighters complied with the CRD’s vaccine mandate

The Cariboo Regional District has released more information regarding the number of rural fire department volunteer members lost due to the vaccine mandate.

There are now 285 firefighters on active rosters across regional district, down 89 members from 374 before the mandate, according to a detailed roster released by the CRD.

In the Williams Lake area, the 150 Mile House Volunteer Fire Department went from 26 members before the mandate to 23 after, Miocene Volunteer Fire Department went from 21 members before the mandate to 15 after the mandate and Wildwood Volunteer Fire Department went from 20 members before the mandate down to 13 afterwards.

Central Cariboo Search and Rescue’s numbers remained steady at 34.

Fire halls at Kersley in the north and Lone Butte in the south were hit hardest by vaccine mandate losses, down 25 and 9, respectively.

In the news release issued Thursday, Jan 27, the CRD noted the announcement of a vaccine requirement for district volunteer firefighters was met with broad acceptance across the region and vocal opposition in some communities — as some members chose not to disclose their vaccination status.

“We understand and respect their decision and thank all volunteer firefighters, regardless of their vaccination status, for the important work they do,” noted the CRD.

“The majority of volunteer firefighters in the CRD have now met the vaccination requirement. All volunteer halls are ready to respond to emergency call outs.”

Volunteers have voiced their concern over whether the rural departments would be able to provide adequate coverage to respond as needed with the loss of members, however, the CRD has said fire halls throughout the district will provide mutual aid to assist one another.

The CRD noted in the release that numbers included honourary and non-active members, and were subject to change.


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