United Counties begin a fire services study

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Counties Council has approved the hiring of an independent consultant with strategic fire service expertise to initiate the investigation into a Counties-wide fire services study.

The consultants will work with the Leeds Grenville Chief Administrative Officers (CAOs) at a workshop involving the area’s 10 member municipalities. The workshop’s outcome will be to prepare a scope of work for a Counties fire services study. This scope will be brought back to Council to consider.

The costs and requirements for municipal fire services have increased significantly over the past decade, including increased standards for fire equipment, firefighting, and dispatching. The goal of the review is to determine whether a Counties-wide fire service will provide efficiencies for greater value to lower-tier municipalities.

The Counties is currently responsible for fire communications. It owns and operates the fire communications infrastructure and has a five-year agreement with the City of Brockville for dispatch services. The United Counties makes an annual donation for Fire Mutual Aid training, fire prevention activities, and Mutual Aid Association membership.

In March, the provincial government announced it will be implementing two regulations requiring all fire services to provide the mandatory training and certification for their firefighters and that municipalities prepare fire risk assessments. For more information, contact Counties CAO, Andy Brown at 613-342-3840, ext. 2301.

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