email: osoyoosfirerescue@cablerocket.com

It was 1947 when the Osoyoos Volunteer Fire Department was formed, under the direction of Percy Bates. He became the first Fire Chief.
The pride of the department was their fire truck: a 1926 Reo Speed Wagon, purchased from the Penticton Fire Department. It remained in service until 1962. The fire truck and the volunteer Firemen made their headquarters in a single bay fire hall located at what is now the MacDonald Real Estate Office. Today the 1926 Reo Speed Wagon Fire Truck is on display in the Osoyoos Museum, where it adds another page of history to own Town’s story. It is proudly driven in the July 1st Parade, every tear by the local firemen.

Following Percy Bates (1947-1967), Howard Compeau became Acting Fire Chief. Howard continued as assistant Fire Chief when Paul Balogh became Fire Chief (1967-1997). He served the Osoyoos Volunteer Fire Department for 42 years, 30 of those years as Chief.
Walter Lemke with a 40 year history with the Osoyoos Fire Department became chief in 1997 and held the position for 7 years.

Ross Driver, with over 3 decades of service in the department held the chief’s position for 2 years.
Rick Jones is the current Fire Chief (since 2006) with 25 years of service with the Osoyoos Fire Department.

The largest fire in the history of the Osoyoos Fire Department was in the mid-1970’s when the MacLean & Fitzpatrick Packing House burnt down. It certainly ranks the biggest for the number of man-hours needed to control and extinguish it. This fire took out the railway by burning the railway ties and warping the rails. In the department’s recent history, 2 major fires were the Rialto Hotel Fire which was 19 man-hours and the Super-Valu fire which was 23 man-hours.
In 2003, the Osoyoos Fire Department played an important role in controlling the Anarchist Mountain fire. While the forest service fought the fire in the woods, the Osoyoos Fire Department was responsible for protecting the structures and homes on the mountain. The Department met the challenge with skill and determination.
The Osoyoos Fire Department Volunteers are on call 24- 7 for everything from fires to auto extrication. The member and their families put their lives on hold when the call comes in.

Note from the Chief, Rick Jones: “I am very proud of the dedication and close knit group that call themselves ‘The Osoyoos Fire Fighters’.”

The Osoyoos Volunteer Fire Department
Serving the community for more than half a century with dedication and pride.