Another week, another high rise proposal for Kelowna

Re: Another week, another high rise proposal for Kelowna

Postby Scrobins94 » Feb 19th, 2021, 1:31 am

Hey guys I'm not a firefighter but hear me out okay. I think that wood, as in the material most often used in low rise construction like single family homes, yes, wood is more flammable than concrete. So maybe the people in these towers would be safer from a fire, unless they jump out the window then maybe not so much. Brb maybe I should double check this with my high school science teacher.
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Re: Another week, another high rise proposal for Kelowna

Postby alanjh595 » Feb 19th, 2021, 5:39 am

I don't think that you have to ask a science teacher.

Ever see a house that has burned to the ground? What is left?

The concrete foundation and footings.

Why all this fuss over firefighters years before they have even put a shovel in the ground, never mind how many years before the building is complete and ready for occupancy? Shouldn't we wait and see what advancements have been done with firefighting technology before jumping in and complaining about something that hasn't happened yet?
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Re: Another week, another high rise proposal for Kelowna

Postby LANDM » Feb 19th, 2021, 7:55 am

cv23 wrote:This is exactly the load of crap developers have been selling Kelowna City Council on for decades and look where it has got us to today with regard to infrastructure. In places like Calgary if a developer doesn't pay ALL the costs up front with extending services to their development they simply aren't given occupancy permits.


That is no different than here.
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Re: Another week, another high rise proposal for Kelowna

Postby LANDM » Feb 19th, 2021, 8:07 am

Queller wrote:Ha. To clarify the clarification, call it a rant if you want, the fact remains that the KFD prevention staff, and the Fire Chief are administrators, not frontline firefighters, and tell the media what the City corporate position is. That's about it.
Asking any frontline firefighter in Kelowna, including the fire officers, off-duty, without a camera in their face, if they feel the Dept. is capable of effectively fighting a fire in a high-rise in Kelowna, the answer will be a resounding no.


Ahhh, the old argument of the low man on the totem pole....."boots on the ground know better than the people in charge".
While it may or may not be true in individual cases, decision making from the bottom up seldom works in reality.

The fact is, you can ask frontline firefighters whatever you want....they do not have the ability to make the decisions. Their opinion is only slightly more valuable than the opinions of anyone on this thread...in a realistic sense.

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Re: Another week, another high rise proposal for Kelowna

Postby LANDM » Feb 19th, 2021, 8:15 am

johnmartin wrote:What is interesting to me is how various people in the Fire Service, and in this forum, discount the intent of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The Association has based their standards on input from many professional associations to develop a standard to help protect the public and the fire service to the highest possible level. They are upgraded every 3-5 years to incorporate new technology and modernization to stay current. They are incorporated in the building code, fire code, firefighter qualifications, firefighter equipment, fire investigation and I could go on. Why then are we discounting the recommendations of NFPA 1710 for high rises??? As Kelowna grows, and seems to like continuing on the high rise venture, the fire service has to grow with it. The NFPA 1710 standard has taken all variables into consideration to form it's recommendation including sprinklers, construction materials, fire codes, building codes, firefighter training, firefighter equipment, etc.etc.etc.
The more high rises we have the higher the possibility of a catastrophic event that will take lives, public and firefighters. Let's not resist these standards but embrace them for what they are. Safe and effective. There is also the legal implications of a city, council member, Fire Chief or any other decision maker not following the best Standard Of Care available to them in decision making. The NFPA provides them with this best Standard Of Care!!

Retired Captain
Toronto Fire Service


What is your response to the comments by the Kelowna Fire Department to the concerns about high rise fire safety? They seemed to be pretty clear and concise.
The comments in the above post are very motherhood-and-apple-pie generalizations. Safety codes are good etc.

I’m sure the KFD doesn’t disagree and they are doing the best and most professional job they can for a city that is crossing the threshold from low rise to high rise buildings.

Retired Fire Chief
New York Fire Department


not really, but I play one on certain threads
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Re: Another week, another high rise proposal for Kelowna

Postby forum » Feb 19th, 2021, 8:40 am

...

Don't worry everyone.

You will all get a $1 raise to adjust to the new cost of everything.
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Re: Another week, another high rise proposal for Kelowna

Postby TylerM4 » Feb 19th, 2021, 9:30 am

cv23 wrote:If the developers pay for the equipment how exactly is the money coming from the existing group of citizens/taxpayers?
Maybe the developers will pass their expense on to new citizens/taxpayers but those are the people expecting the protection



Well, this leads to a bit of a discussion about general economics, but in a nutshell:
- They increase the cost to buy a unit. It's citizens who buy/own these units.

From there, it's a knock-down effect:
- The increased cost/value of the units results in higher property taxes for owners.
- Over time and with future developments, the cost of a highrise apartment in Kelowna in general rises, effecting all citizens living in apartments not just those that live in this particular development.
- Increases in one type of real-estate influence others, rising costs of apartments means costs of alternatives like duplexes and townhouses also increase in value although perhaps not as much.
- More threads are opened on Castanet about the crazy cost of real estate and how more affordable housing is required.

It's not the developers who pay the cost in the end, they simply turn around and pass that cost on to the residents and the community as a whole. Hence, my statement about the citizens of Kelowna paying the cost either way.
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Re: Another week, another high rise proposal for Kelowna

Postby just_browsing » Feb 19th, 2021, 9:36 am

LANDM wrote:
To be even clearer, I would trust the comments from the official spokesperson of the Kelowna Fire Department (Paul Johnson) over those of an anonymous "retired Toronto fire captain" on a local Internet forum. Especially when that poster has huge flaws in his argument which are easily exposed in the threads containing his rants.


Actually it's crystal clear here and to everyone that has actually done even just a TINY bit of research. Kelowna is doing something completely unique and dangerous to it's current and future residents beyond belief!

Paul Johnston is a Fire Prevention Officer. When Castanet asked the question about high rises being built to safe standards to the Fire Prevention officer, he did his job specifically and is 100% correct on buildings being built to codes etc etc etc. This is useless information as all buildings are built to building and fire codes or they will not be approved and not be allowed to be built.

Paul Johnston is NOT allowed to comment on the amount of personnel required to fight a fire in a large structure, but rather the safety of the compartments inside the structure to ensure the safety of occupants for a designated time frame until the fire department is able to gain the upper hand.

I'd LOVE for the fire chief, OR even a city desker to explain to the residents of Kelowna how this unique situation and that Kelowna should be the PRIDE of the WORLD in that we are building a city that no one else has ever been able to do. A city that still has the same amount of firefighters as it did 20 years ago yet is approving structures that require 100 plus.

Don't forget that even if a small fire breaks out in one of these buildings that the entire city will be left without a fire department. Yes, that means that if you get in a car accident you will not have even the jaws of life available to extricate you...you will not have quick access to medical assistance...you will not have an ice rescue team, or a high angle rescue team, or a hazmat team...you will have to wait for hours after you call 911 until they can free up a fire truck from the high rise emergency...carbon monoxide alarm going off? No problem, they will be there later when they have time. Heart attack? You will have to wait longer for an ambulance to arrive because there will be no fire fighters from here to Kamloops.

All of our residents, including the entire fire department in Kelowna pay the price for what? For an ugly structure to be built so that millennials can take their selfies from high places and capitalists can boast they have a condo in downtown Kelowna?

Questions need to be asked and the erection of structures needs to stop until we are prepared to shell out DOUBLE for NORMAL emergency services.

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Re: Another week, another high rise proposal for Kelowna

Postby just_browsing » Feb 19th, 2021, 9:40 am

Queller wrote:Ha. To clarify the clarification, call it a rant if you want, the fact remains that the KFD prevention staff, and the Fire Chief are administrators, not frontline firefighters, and tell the media what the City corporate position is. That's about it.
Asking any frontline firefighter in Kelowna, including the fire officers, off-duty, without a camera in their face, if they feel the Dept. is capable of effectively fighting a fire in a high-rise in Kelowna, the answer will be a resounding no.


You hit the nail on the head here! They are not allowed to comment in front of a camera but I agree whole heartedly and promise this thread that each and every last one of them will give you a solid solid NO!
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Re: Another week, another high rise proposal for Kelowna

Postby just_browsing » Feb 19th, 2021, 9:42 am

Catri wrote:On the one hand, it would be nice if the fire department were prepared for a fire in any building in the city, on the other hand, if someone chooses to live in a highrise apartment, as long as they're aware that the local fire department may not have the resources to adequately fight a fire in a highrise apartment (which I guess everyone is now), it's their choice. It's not like any of these towers are low income or social housing where people don't really have a choice whether or not to accept living there for economic reasons (as it was in the Grenfell tower disaster in London a few years ago).


The problem is that the rest of Kelowna is the ONLY ones who suffer. We completely lose our fire department for hours upon hours should a fire start in any one of these highrises.

Is that fair?
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Re: Another week, another high rise proposal for Kelowna

Postby Bsuds » Feb 19th, 2021, 9:48 am

just_browsing wrote:
The problem is that the rest of Kelowna is the ONLY ones who suffer. We completely lose our fire department for hours upon hours should a fire start in any one of these highrises.

Is that fair?


There are lots of non high rise buildings in Kelowna that if were to have a major fire would tax the resources of the FD.

I guess we shouldn't allow any of them?
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Re: Another week, another high rise proposal for Kelowna

Postby just_browsing » Feb 19th, 2021, 9:52 am

cv23 wrote:
More houses means more taxes means more money to bolster infrastructure like policing, fire, sewer, water, etc.
.
This is exactly the load of crap developers have been selling Kelowna City Council on for decades and look where it has got us to today with regard to infrastructure. In places like Calgary if a developer doesn't pay ALL the costs up front with extending services to their development they simply aren't given occupancy permits. Present infrastructure has or is being paid by present residents and adequate for their needs. It only make sense that any additional infrastructure requirements should be paid by those requiring it. (see the next quote)

I do support making developers pay for the direct costs of infrastructure in surrounding area to support a development.

Yet in the sentence above the same poster says everyone in the community's taxes are supposed to pay form infrastructure such as fire protection?
But when it comes to something that's to be used across the entire city - perhaps make them pay a small portion of cost, but not the entire cost. Shouldn't just be the 1st one to build a highrise needs to bolster the FD for the entire city and have it "already done" for the next developer who wants to build.



The average single family resident in Kelowna (the vast majority of the population) has no need for a ladder truck capable of reaching ten or more stories or the other related equipment and specially trained personal necessary to fight a highrise fire, Nor will the fire department send such specialized equipment to a single story or even three story apartment fire. Unless there is a catastrophic fire endangering the entire community that specialized equipment will only be employed in a highrise fire. Such equipment will also not be housed in areas without highrises but rather in the area where it will be deployed with highrises. Does anyone believe the KFD would house or deploy a ladder truck capable of reaching six or more storys to a house fire in Kettle Valley. Black Mtn or out the Glenmore Valley? Such equipment will be housed, deployed and used where it is designed for, where the highrises are.
The only reason for the fire department to purchase, maintain and man such specialized equipment is to fight a fire in a high rise so why shouldn't the builders and residents of such buildings be the ones to bear the additional costs of such specialized equipment ?
Just like any other fire equipment the more highrise buildings in the city the more specialized highrise equipment will be required so as more highrises are built more specialized equipment and personal will be required. This will never stop so the first developer will not be paying anymore proportionally than the next.
$10k per unit additional DCC might not cover the entire cost of purchasing, maintaining, housing and manning the specialized equipment necessary to deal with a highrise fire but it might cover the difference in cost between the specialized equipment necessary to fight those highrise fires over the cost of the more traditional equipment require to fight a three story fire.


Just to add a bit of insider information here...

The Kelowna Fire fighters have been lobbying the CoK for 20 years to say that they don't have enough manpower to even operate the equipment that they have, never mind fight a fire in a high rise.

They were given a ladder truck many many years ago but were not given any more personnel to use the ladder truck.

A ladder truck is supposed to have a complement of 4 personnel to setup and operate the apparatus. They put the ladder truck in a firehall that only has 4 peronnel and did not ever add any. This forces them to send only 3 peronnel in a fire truck and only 1 in a ladder truck. about 50% of the Captains do not agree with sending 1 fire fighter in a ladder truck, so much of the time they will not even take the ladder truck and wait for someone to be called in for overtime to go pick up the ladder truck and bring it to the scene. How ghetto is this CoK?!!

So yes, not only do we lack the amount of fire fighters to mitigate an emergency in a highrise but we also only send 1 person in a ladder truck...this gives the amazing impression to the public that they are prepared and capable...but the real truth is that is is 100% lipstick.
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Re: Another week, another high rise proposal for Kelowna

Postby just_browsing » Feb 19th, 2021, 10:00 am

alanjh595 wrote:These new high-rise buildings will have a/several stations at street level, where a pump truck can plug into and place water on the floor it is needed.

Why would a fireman have to climb a ladder for 40 floors?
They would just take an elevator that is self contained in solid concrete.

Why would a ladder need to be deployed 40 floors up?
If the fire, that will be contained within the concrete walls of each unit, with a 1-2 hour burn through time, why the rush?
Fire does not spread quickly through a concrete building, the biggest concern would be smoke inhalation, but that could be remedied by moving to a floor below the fire.

IF there is a big rush for some unknown reason, they can repel down from the top.

The fire department are very good at what they do, let them do their job.

Somebody has a toaster oven catch fire, is not going to bring the building down.


There is so much here that I want to correct you on but I'll let it go as I don't expect you to understand emergency services unless you have worked in them.

Did you know that elevators kill more firefighters than anything? It also takes 2 more personnel to operate the elevators when they are in "fire department" mode.

This is what I mean...everyone thinks the remedies are in place but they don't realize that all these things takes extra people to operate!

Fire pump?! You bet that all have them! Do they operate on their own during an emergency? Not on your life! It takes another personnel to stay with the fire pump to ensure it keeps operating so that the men and women trying to assist above don't lose their lifelines and perish.
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Re: Another week, another high rise proposal for Kelowna

Postby just_browsing » Feb 19th, 2021, 10:09 am

LANDM wrote:
I’m sure the KFD doesn’t disagree and they are doing the best and most professional job they can for a city that is crossing the threshold from low rise to high rise buildings.

Retired Fire Chief
New York Fire Department


As I'm sure the Mayor and Council don't disagree that they are doing the best and most professional job to support our residents and build the best small sized city in the world.
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Re: Another week, another high rise proposal for Kelowna

Postby seewood » Feb 19th, 2021, 10:22 am

I wonder if it will take an unfortunate incident in Kelowna where staffing was not sufficient for response time ( second call) or a
rescue at the same time as a heavily involved structure fire has taken hold.
I truly hope not, hoping something does not happen is not a plan.

Really unfortunate that many time it takes an incident for politicians to do something, after the fact. That is why NFPA has standards, usually derived from post incident events.
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