City of Kamloops seeking volunteers to help run cooling centres

Help to run cooling centres

The City of Kamloops is looking for community volunteers to help operate cooling centres in the event of a long stretch of hot temperatures hitting the region.

Linda Stride, the city’s recreation, health and wellness supervisor, said in a statement that volunteers are an important component of the city’s heat response plan.

“We’re asking residents to consider volunteering their time during a heat warning,” Stride said.

“When a cooling centre is activated, it is initially staffed by city employees, however in the event of an extended heat event or a concurrent emergency, volunteers would be required to keep cooling centres open.”

The City of Kamloops said it will activate its heat alert response protocol when Environment Canada issues a heat warning for the area.

A heat warning is issued when daytime high temperatures are forecast to be 35 C or greater, and nighttime lows are not expected to dip below 18 C for two or more days in a row.

The city’s response will include activating indoor and outdoor cooling spaces, promoting neighbourhood health checks, and sharing B.C. heat alert and response system messaging with residents through various channels.

According to the city, Sandman Centre will be the primary cooling site.

Depending on staff and volunteer availability, the city will then aim to open the Parkview Activity Centre and Valleyview Community Hall as additional cooling sites.

The centres would be open from 12 p.m. until 8 p.m., and volunteers would work in four hour shifts.

Anyone interested in volunteering can apply online through the City of Kamloops’ website.

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