Victoria County council considering fire service review
piggyback on; if not, we’ll have to go with our own.”
In the meantime, said Donovan, the association of fire chiefs is looking into what consultants are available to conduct the review, which he expects could cost $2,000 per department.
There are 11 volunteer fire departments in Victoria County serving approximately 8,000 residents.
Along with its $400,000 fire budget, last year Victoria County put an in an extra $50,000 for fire services.
“It would be good to get an independent person to come in and evaluate the departments, see where they are lacking and where they are doing good, we want the positives out of this too,” Donovan said. “Down the road, if the county does have a bit of money to spend, we’d know we are putting the funds in the best spot.”
Donovan said every community is important, adding that the needs of one volunteer fire department may differ from another, depending on its coverage area.
The review would look at such areas as recruitment and retention, strategic planning, equipment, training levels, communication and the role of first responders.
Because some fire departments’ coverage areas include schools, hospitals and seniors home, there may be differences in equipment requirements.
“A number of fire departments in the province have conducted similar reviews and I understand are getting positive feedback,” he said. “Our council has a number of members who serve as volunteer firefighters, so council is aware of the struggles facing these rural fire departments.”
Donovan said the review will help fire departments determine what is needed to make coverage more effective.