The loss of the Keno City hotel to fire in December 2020 burnt a hole in the heart of anyone who knew the iconic venue, and prompted an independent review of fire safety in rural Yukon.
Yesterday on the last day of the legislative session, the Yukon government released the report.
Titled an independent Review of the Yukon Fire Marshal’s Office Fire Suppression and Rescue Resource Distribution, it offered up “far more than was anticipated” according to Damien Burns, the assistant deputy minister of protective services in the Yukon government’s Department of Community Services.
At over 150 pages, the report is detailed. It identifies much good, some bad, and exposes some unsettling tidbits. It provides the government with 104 recommendations for improvement.
Response Specialties Consulting encourages the Yukon to continue with its unique model of fire protection across the territory by providing oversight to community-based volunteer fire departments and continuing supportive relations with municipal fire departments. It lauds the people involved for their pride and commitment and recognizes the innovations and problem-solving attributes of those within the fire service.
The report also comes with concerns and cautions that includes an observation that the legislation is not in accordance with current practice; that the mandate and administration of the Fire Marshalls Office needs to be refreshed; and that there are not enough members in some small communities which are operating far below safe levels.
The Yukon government says it is “now analyzing the findings of the review and will work in partnership with stakeholders in Yukon communities, including the Yukon’s valued fire service volunteers, to determine next steps to establish sustainable fire service delivery to Yukon communities.”
The News is receiving additional comments from rural communities and will report further at a later date. By the end of the day the report was released Amber Smith of Keno City said she had finished reading it and community interest is high.
Contact Lawrie Crawford at firstname.lastname@example.org