Vic­to­ria County coun­cil con­sid­er­ing fire ser­vice re­view

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS - BY JULIE COLLINS

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.

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