Kawartha Lakes Fire Rescue Service has been working with Emergency Management and Training Inc. (EMT) consultants over the past couple of months to develop a preliminary overview to help guide the development of the City’s 10-Year Fire Master Plan and to address the current and growing needs for the City of Kawartha Lakes.
EMT completed a review of the previous Fire Master Plan, fire prevention and public education initiatives, fire station locations, the status of present vehicles and equipment, staffing, response capabilities, and training programs based on industry related legislation, standards, and best practices. EMT also completed the Fire Master Plan survey to gain feedback from city residents and businesses.
“Our consultants have completed a very thorough review of all Fire Services and have made several preliminary recommendations that will assist us in creating our new 10-Year Fire Master Plan and address the growing needs of our City,” says Fire Chief Mark Pankhurst.
EMT presented the following recommendations to Council at the Special Council Meeting on May 15:
- To update the establishing and regulating by-law;
- To actively recruit for volunteer firefighters that work rotating shifts or straight nights to improve daytime response numbers by volunteer firefighters who are not available during daytime hours;
- Create a new position that will oversee emergency planning and preparedness along with the development and maintenance of the Community Risk Assessment for the City such as a Chief Fire Prevention officer or another Fire Prevention/Public Education Officer;
- Fire Chief should provide Council with a draft policy that outlines the fire inspection program to address identified needs and expected outcomes of the program including the level of staffing required and frequency of inspections;
- That the Fire Department meet with local community groups to form a partnership in relation to organizing fire safety and public education events;
- Create another position for a District Chief or Platoon Chief;
- Develop a plan on what Kawartha Lakes Fire Rescue Service can accomplish with present staffing as well as options to increase inspection frequencies (through the use of fire suppression staff);
- Incorporate local fire prevention officers at select fire stations to offer more accessibility to Fire Prevention Officers;
- Enhance training by purchasing a mobile training unit that can be moved from station to station to accommodate the training needs of firefighters;
- That Council support an increase in full-time firefighter staffing from the present full-time crews of three, to a minimum response of four on the full-time response unit out of the Lindsay fire station;
- Continue enhancement of the full-time Fire Officer resources and training to be incorporated into an annual fire prevention program;
- Complete certification for staff for each position (that requires certification as noted in the updated FPPA) and ensure certifications are maintained;
- That a full structural review be completed on all of the fire stations to gain a more accurate review of needed repairs and/or upgrades; and
- That the City look at a gradual implementation plan for the installation of generators at key fire stations.
Kawartha Lakes Fire Rescue Service is endeavouring to meet the needs of a growing community, based on present staffing, fire station locations and equipment. The recommendations presented by EMT will assist Kawartha Lakes Fire Rescue Service to meet the future goals and expectations as the community continues to grow.