On the new Fire Plan

The new Master Fire Plan was debated and received last night at Council; unfortunately, due to previous commitments, I was unable to attend the Special Meeting, but I was able to comment beforehand and appreciate the opportunities presented by staff to be a part of the process.

The 16 recommendations of the report are the following:

  1. Review and specify the services and level of services provided by Fire Services as part of the mandated update to the Establishing and Regulating By-law. Priority Level: Immediate.
  2. Monitor all duties and responsibilities, moving forward, as the current administrative workload is approaching capacity. Priority Level: Ongoing monitoring and review.
  3. Continue the current practice to review, revise and implement fees for service on an annual basis or as required by FEMS management team. Priority Level: Ongoing monitoring and review.
  4. Integrate other Corporate software programs to ensure connectivity and retention
    requirements are being met, where possible, following the full implementation of Firehouse software. Priority Level: Ongoing monitoring and review.
  5. Hire one additional person to assume the position of Community Emergency Management Coordinator (CEMC) for the City of St. Catharines. Priority Level: Immediate.
  6. Hire one full-time dedicated Public Educator for the Fire Prevention Division. Priority Level: Immediate.
  7. Promote an existing person to enhance the current two platoon system by having a Fire Prevention Officer (FPO) assigned to each platoon. Priority Level: Ongoing monitoring and review.
  8. Hire one full-time person dedicated to plans and site review in the Fire Prevention Division to support Planning and Building Services. Priority Level: Ongoing monitoring and review.
  9. Hire one additional Training Officer to the Training Division to meet the needs identified through the full-time equivalent analysis. Priority Level: Ongoing monitoring and review.
  10. Increase the staff complement in Suppression by 16 personnel with a staged
    implementation plan over four years. Priority Level: High
  11. Set the current response time criteria to that of NFPA 1710 standard which recommends a response time of 6 minutes and 20 seconds 90% of the time. Priority Level: Immediate.
  12. Hire one Communicator with GIS/CAD capabilities to bring the staffing complement to six persons per platoon. Priority Level: Immediate.
  13. Maintain current building replacement schedule as defined in the Corporate asset
    management replacement program with priority given to renovations to Station 1 which would allow for the relocation of one aerial. Priority Level: Ongoing monitoring and review
  14. In 2019, construct a new Training Tower as forecasted in the Capital Budget. Priority Level: Immediate.
  15. Maintain the current Fleet Vehicle Replacement Schedule as created by Finance through a Reserve Fund which accumulates annually through the Operating Budget. Priority Level: Ongoing monitoring and review.
  16. Maintain two dedicated mechanics within their own association to oversee all FEMS vehicles and apparatus and work with City staff in the design of the repair facilities at City yards for repair and maintenance of fire apparatus. Priority Level: Ongoing monitoring and review.

All of these recommendations are subject to public comment; if you have concerns or see something missing, please don’t hesitate to contact me at msiscoe@stcatharines.ca, or email the Clerks department at clerks@stcatharines.ca.

For a good rundown of the meeting, check out the Standard article by Karena Walter.