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Corner Brook city council releases report on fire services

Corner Brook Mayor Charles Pender during Monday night’s meeting of city council at city hall.
Corner Brook Mayor Charles Pender during Monday night’s meeting of city council at city hall.

A report reviewing fire services in Corner Brook has come up with recommendations that would cost about $10 million to implement.

Among the recommendations are the construction of two new fire stations and the hiring of additional firefighters.

The study, conducted by Pomax Consulting, was released following Monday’s public city council meeting.

City council received the report late in 2016 and has since implemented some of the measures recommended.

The recommendations from the consultant’s report will now lead to further discussions and collaboration between council, the city’s protective services committee and city staff in order to analyze and choose the best course of action.

Here are some of the details, according to the City of Corner Brook:

• Personnel. The consultant recommended hiring additional staff in the following areas: new implementation co-ordinator; additional firefighters; new fire and life safety educator.

• Training. The report recommended providing firefighters with more training in public education delivery and building inspections to align with the Fire Prevention Model.

• Equipment and operations. In an effort to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the department, the consultant recommended the following initiatives: a commitment to governance and standardizing of fire department operational processes; acquiring a data management system; a fire truck replacement plan; building two new fire stations.

Some of the actions that have been taken are:

• The Corner Brook Fire Department is shifting its focus from a suppression model to a prevention model of fire service with the goal of actively educating residents on fire prevention.

• The Corner Brook fire prevention bylaw is under review and a new bylaw will soon be added to empower the fire department.

• During the past year, the fire department has moved from paper records and files to electronic-based data management with a goal to move toward dedicated software that will collect, record and administer its data.

• The NFPA Standard 1710 was used to measure the fire service response capabilities to residential structure fires. The recommendations are being considered. Interim Fire Services are guided by a standard operating procedure that directs response tasks conditional on the number of firefighters on the scene and utilizes its on-call firefighters to bring the workforce to the NFPA full-alarm assignment of 14 to 15 firefighters.

• A new training captain has been put in place at the fire department. All training is being been assessed and is being updated.

• The new positions fire and life safety educator and implementation co-ordinator are under budget review for 2018.

• In November 2015, a new Pierce Saber custom rescue pumper truck was purchased for more than $500,000. Plans are in place for the purchase of another truck once a full evaluation of specifications of a new truck has determined if that will best serve Corner Brook. The city has started a reserve fund to purchase or lease a new fire truck.

• Council and the city are reviewing the recommendations of the fire stations with a focus of ensuring fire safety to residents as a priority. Some items will be deferred to the new council in September.

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