RDCK takes steps to reassure the public on arena safety in Central Kootenay

 The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) is saddened by the news of the deaths at the City of Fernie arena. The RDCK’s thoughts and prayers are with the families.

At this time the cause of the accident in the City of Fernie’s arena is unknown however, the RDCK understands that the public may have some questions regarding the operation of our arenas.

Photo: Nelson Leafs

The safeties at RDCK arena facilities are as follows:

  • Our facilities are staffed by qualified and trained operators as per the Provincial Safety Standards Act – Power Engineers, Boiler, Pressure Vessel and Refrigeration Safety Regulation.
  • RDCK Arena’s at the Nelson and District (including the Civic Centre), Castlegar and District, and Creston and District Community Complexes have been “Risk Assessed” by Provincial Safety Authority.
    • The refrigeration plant rooms in each of these facilities are isolated from the rest of the building.
    • The plant rooms are monitored (24/7), alarmed, operated through direct digital control and designed to discharge an ammonia leak to atmosphere to ensure that the ammonia is dispersed in a safe manner.
    • Refrigeration systems have code required safeties that are designed to ensure safe operation of equipment.
    • The RDCK has a robust safety program including regular maintenance by qualified refrigeration contractors.
  • The Pioneer Arena in Castlegar does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Provincial Safety Standards Act – Power Engineers, Boiler, Pressure Vessel and Refrigeration Safety Regulation due to a smaller refrigeration plant size. However, the chiller has been recently replaced, plant room has had safety improvements, regular maintenance is performed and safeties are in place on the refrigeration plant.
  • In response to the incident in the City of Fernie;
    • RDCK staff is reviewing safety procedures and  having all arena facilities re-inspected by a third party; and
    • The RDCK will address any recommendations from the investigations by Worksafe BC and the BC Safety Authority.
  • The District is confident that our facilities are safe.

3 victims identified in deadly Fernie arena gas leak