Fire Chief says 142 “gaps” or problems with department need addressing

Written by  Wednesday, 23 May 2018 10:19
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Fire Chief/Manager of Emergency Services Greg Robinson presented his Phase Two Organizational and Operational Review, a lengthy document containing 142 “gaps” or problems with the Central Frontenac Fire Department at Council’s regular meeting Tuesday in Mountain Grove.

Given the length of the documents, there wasn’t a lot of discussion but Robinson suggested that it was being presented now to give Council a chance to read it before a discussion scheduled for the June 26 Council meeting and several other presentations from the review over the next three months.

“Any fire chief that would give me this much reading before a long weekend . . . I don’t know,” said Coun. Bill MacDonald.

“With documents of this magnitude, I think it’s important that we take our time and ask the right questions,” said Mayor Frances Smith.

“I spent a few hours on this and many points caught my eye,” said Coun. John Purdon. “One of which is we were told we’d have a Fire Master Plan in April.”

Robinson responded that it wouldn’t be possible to have a master plan until many of the gaps had been dealt with.

As for the gaps, they are organized into nine categories (number of gaps in each in brackets):

Emergency response operations (26)

Administration (47)

Communications (9)

Training and Education (9)

Equipment/apparatus/building maintenance and repair (18)

Fire prevention and training (8)

Water supply (5)

Records management systems (14)

Simplified risk assessment (6)

Robinson’s report advocates many changes, some of which are already underway and the report also acknowledges there will be (is) reluctance to change in certain changes.

“The phase one and two reports demonstrate the need for numerous operational changes and significant organizational changes,” the report said. “Firefighters have deeply entrenched cultures and are very reluctant to change.

“Still having amalgamation issues within CFFR exasperates this unwillingness to change.”

The full report is available on the Central Frontenac website under the agenda for the May 22 Council meeting.

 

 

• • •

Council passed a new procurement policy bylaw Tuesday.

The previous bylaw was passed in 2004 and amended slightly in 2010.

Treasurer Michael McGovern said there was “some verbiage” changed such as “pecuniary interest” to conflict of interest” because it covered more ground.

However, he said the biggest change was to raise the request for tender threshold to $50,000 from the current $20,000.

“We will actually save money with this because since it takes about four hours to process each tender, we incur costs,” he said.

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