KAMLOOPS — Once a year, the Kamloops and Tk'emlups councils meet to discuss common goals and shared projects.
Today though, that meeting didn't start out at a boardroom table.
It took place at the city's fire training centre, where councillors got a taste of the challenges Kamloops Fire Rescue personnel face when responding to calls.
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"It's exciting," said Tk'emlups councillor Howard Campbell, who put on the firefighter gear to try it out. "It's very interesting. There's zero visibility, you don't know where you're going, you really have to rely a lot on communication, calling out to each other."
Mayor Peter Milobar added, "It's quite impressive, the amount of equipment and gear and professionalism we have, and when you actually do it hands-on, you get a new appreciation for it. The perils and danger they face every time they go out to a call."
The fire training exercise was all part of a community to community forum. The City of Kamloops and Tk'emlups Indian band spent the day together meeting and discussing new partnerships.
Fire protection is one of the key partnerships between Kamloops and Tk'emlups, which paid $943,341 in 2015 to have KFR tend to calls on the reserve and Sun Rivers.
"Being here and learning from [Kamloops Fire Rescue] Chief [Dale] McLean the work that goes into it," said Tk'emlups Chief Fred Seymour. "We considered building our own fire hall with our own crew, but we're just not ready, not for another 10 to 15 years. It's pretty pricey."
Monday's forum, starting at KFR's training centre, was a chance for each council to come together and discuss partnerships and opportunities moving forward.
"We've discussed transit in the past and that's ongoing to try and figure out a way that the Tk'emlups can also offer transit to everybody that's living over there," says Kamloops City Councillor Tina Lange. "But right now, we're still in the planning stages."
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