Fire Chief John McKearney "completely surprised" by Kits Coast Guard base closure

The decision to close Kitsilano Coast Guard station was a "complete surprise" to the Fire Chief and the Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services, according to report sent to us by City of Vancouver.

When the emergency responders participated in a regularly scheduled inter-agency field exercise involving Coast Guard, Port Metro Vancouver, Vancouver Fire and Vancouver Police Department on Monday, apparently "there was no mention of an imminent base closure".

“Such operations are part of ongoing multi-agency tactical exercises, which demonstrate that the successful model must include a rapid response by the Coast Guard. To suggest to our citizens that these exercises or any real emergency no longer requires a rapid response by the Coast Guard is simply incorrect," said Fire Chief John McKearney.

“Moreover, the temporary seasonal services announced for the harbor are no comparison to the professionally trained and equipped officers of the Coast Guard. This closure has put the safety of our harbor and waterways at risk.”

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