Big meeting Thursday night at the Elks Hall between, Administration, Fire departments and Rescue.
The press release is available on the municipal web site regarding Emergency and Protective Services.
Note: Another chance to voice your opinion on this issue http://www.crowsnestpasspromoter.com/
Here is the way it was explained to myself.
There will be a Director of Protective and Community Services hired, basically a replacement for the former Director (Cam Mertz) probably cost the community a little more money due to the expanded duties of the position.
Under that position will be a Manager of Protective Services/Fire Chief I am told that this will be another new full time position. (You are not going to fill this position for less than $80,000 a year, plus a pickup, computer, clerical support etc etc.)
Under that will be a Deputy Chief which I am told will still be a volunteer position.
Then from there the municipality will be broken into two areas West (Coleman + Blairmore) and East (Hillcrest + Bellevue) each will have a District Chief. So the four positions that used to be fire chiefs will now be replaced with a West and East District Chief.
Then there will be a rotation put in place (Emergency Response Model Deployment) which will for example in the West have Coleman providing coverage for week 1 and 3 each month and Blairmore providing coverage in week 2 and 4 each month.
Once again the way it was explained to be is each squad will have a minimum of five people on call during its turn in the rotation.
My opinion of where this is going. The Fire Departments have always been a very hot potato here politically. I was told a long time ago that the politician that stood up and demanded fire departments to be closed would be committing political suicide.
So how do you achieve that goal with out a huge back lash. First of all you bring in a consultant to look at your protective services. (Politicians love consultants, they have somebody to blame for their actions other than themselves).
Then you come out with a recommendation that says you could better serve the municipality by having two areas of coverage instead of the present four. In reality, you will only have one fire department in each area at any given time because in the East for example Hillcrest will provide coverage in week 1 + 3 and Bellevue in week 2 + 4.
Any of us that have been privy to the numbers will tell you that there are very few fires in the East end of the community, in a year the argument will be made that the East as been provided ample coverage with one department. Due to the fact that there were very few incidents and you have only one fire department covering you at any one time. Nobody will speak up in the west because their departments will not be touched at that time.
In essence the fire departments will do such a good job of providing coverage that they themselves will prove that you can get away with one department on each side of the municipality. Even our former Mayor stated in a strategic planning meeting that some where down the road there would only be two fire departments one on each side of the slide.
I hope that the municipality will maintain the fire coverage it requires, I also hope that there is going to be long term sustainable funding found to pay for another new position.