Fire extinguishers aren’t for putting out fires, per se, said Glenna Shanks of Perth Fire Protection.
“They’re for use upon exit and to get people to safety,” she said. “They’re not used to play the hero.”
Shanks was at the Ompah Fire Hall Saturday to certify extinguishers as well as inform the public. The fire department also had a demonstration set up where people could ‘use’ an extinguisher to ‘put out’ an electronic fire, to get the hang of using one.
“To use an extinguisher, it’s PASS,” she said. “You Pull the pin, Aim, Squeeze the trigger and Sweep the base of the fire.”
She estimated that about 95 per cent of homes have extinguishers.
“This is important in areas like this one because of all the cottages where your fire protection options aren’t as extensive as more urban areas.”
She said the reason they do these clinics is that many people keep their extinguishers in cupboards and don’t realize they have to be certified every six and 12 years.
“Every six years they have to be emptied and tested inside and every 12 years, the hydrostatics have to be tested,” she said. “The first year we did this, many people thought their extinguisher was fine but then we had them go out and test it on a real fire.
“A lot of them didn’t work — it does make a difference to keep them updated.”
Shanks should know, she’s been involved with fire extinguishers since she was three years old.
“It was dad’s (Reg) hobby,” she said. “Then he started the company and I bought him out eight years ago.”
She recommends a five-pound ABC extinguisher, all metal.
“They’re pretty much multi-use,” she said. “And the government won’t let us certify anything that’s plastic.
“In a five-pound, you have five to 10 seconds of powder at 585 psi.”
But they have to be kept in good working order, through certification.
“You’d be amazed what it does, when you need it,” she said.
The Hawkins-Gignac Foundation for CO Education has donated 50 carbon monoxide and 20 smoke alarms to the Central Frontenac Fire & Rescue to assist with the department’s ongoing public safety and awareness campaigns. Alarms will be distributed by fire crews to local individuals identified as requiring the safety devices, on an as-needed basis.
“I’m very pleased to provide these life-saving alarms to Central Frontenac Fire & Rescue and to support its department’s community safety programs,” said John Gignac, a veteran firefighter and Executive Director of the Hawkins-Gignac Foundation for CO Education. “I applaud the department’s efforts to raise awareness of the dangers of fire and carbon monoxide (CO), and to highlight the preventative measures local residents can take to enhance their own safety.”
“When we find a home that requires a carbon monoxide alarm and it doesn’t have one, we make sure one is installed before we leave. This means we need a supply on hand at all times, and that is costly for small rural municipalities,” said Fire Chief, Greg Robinson. “We are very appreciative for this donation and recognition of our home safety initiative.”
Mr. Gignac founded the charitable foundation after his niece, Laurie Hawkins, an OPP officer from Woodstock, her husband, Richard, and their two children, Cassandra and Jordan, all died from carbon monoxide poisoning in 2008. A blocked chimney vent from their gas fireplace forced the deadly gas back into their home. The family did not have a carbon monoxide alarm.
“It’s been 10 years since the accident. We can’t change the past and bring them back, but we can make sure that this never happens to another family,” Mr. Gignac said. “Please protect yourself and your family today. Have a licensed technician inspect your fuel-burning appliances annually, and install at least one CO alarm in your residence. Don’t wait for tragedy to strike.”
Carbon monoxide is called the “Silent Killer” because it is colourless, odorless and tasteless. The only safe way to detect the poisonous gas is with a working carbon monoxide alarm. Ontario law requires that at least one working carbon monoxide alarm be installed outside all sleeping areas in every home that has an attached garage, wood or gas fireplace, or any other gas or fuel-burning appliances. The law also calls for CO alarms to be replaced within the timeframe indicated by manufacturers (7 to 10 years).
For further information, contact: Central Frontenac Fire & Rescue (613-279-2935, www.centralfrontenac.com/en/living-here/carbon-monoxide.aspx )
The Annual “Dump Report”
Stephanie Reeder, of Cambium Consulting and Engineering presented the annual update on the township’s waste disposal sites. Currently, South Frontenac has five active sites: Portland, Loughborough, Bradshaw, Salem and Green Bay. All were found to be operating in compliance with the Province’s environmental requirements. Due to operational improvements over the past five years, the overall estimated life (capacity) of the municipality’s active landfill sites has increased by six years over the estimate last year. It now sits at 26 years.. Four of the five closed sites are still being monitored for groundwater and surface water quality, erosion, seeps, litter and vermin, but none have shown problems.
Reeder indicated that although diversion of organics would certainly reduce waste volume, it would not make much difference to the problem of contaminants, for organics produce virtually no contaminants.
Mayor Vandewal asked whether a pollinator-friendly seed mix was being used when reseeding capped-over sections of the landfills.
Verona Cenotaph Improvements Proposed
Wayne Conway, Chair of the Verona Community Association, outlined community plans to make the Cenotaph more accessible and attractive by adding concrete walkways, more benches, a flowerbed and a 30’ flagpole - possibly a small roofed shelter or gazebo in the future. The cenotaph is located in McMullen Park beside road 38. McMullen Park belongs to the Township. The Verona community is supporting the project by fundraising; Council relaxed visibly when Conway said they were not asking for money - only permission to proceed with the work on Township property. Led by Councillors Morey and Leonard, full approval was granted for the project; “Keep up the good work,” said Vandewal.
Development Charges Presentation
The Township’s current Development Charges by-law expires this September, and as part of the by-law updating process, Claire Dodds, Director of Development Services, presented an overview of the issues and timeline. Development charges are levied to recover the capital costs associated with both residential and non-residential growth within a municipality, and are in addition to the costs that would normally be incurred by the developer as part of a subdivision/condominium, etc.
(However, some services cannot be included under this act, including arts, culture, museums and entertainment facilities, tourism facilities, hospitals, and parkland acquisition.) A consulting firm, Wilson and Associates, has been engaged to draft an updated by-law: their background study will be released by the end of May, an Information Open House is planned for June 19, and the public meeting for the revised Development Charges By-law will be held July 2.
“You’ve asked for detailed information reports,” Vandewal said to Council, “and now you’re getting them.”
Six-unit Rental Building Planned for Sydenham
Council agreed to pass a by-law to enter into a site plan agreement with RKR Landholdings Corp. (Rob Morgan) for his proposed six-unit residential building in the Valleyview Subdivision, which lies south of Rutledge Road in Sydenham. The property’s zoning permits a residential multiple dwelling unit, but requires a site plan control agreement which specifies the location of all buildings and structures, septic system, lighting, garbage areas, landscaped buffers, parking and entrances. Council’s only concern was the location of the garbage enclosure; it was agreed that if at all possible the garbage bin should be moved to the back of the building, not installed at the front. Vandewal questioned the need for a separate garbage bin for six units. Sutherland and Ruttan asked for the motion to be deferred to give the current residents time to comment on the site plan, but their amendment to defer was rejected.
Quarterly Report: Fire and Rescue
As requested by Council, Chief Darcy Knott presented a seven-page first-quarter 2019 Operational Review. In the first three months of 2019, the medical response level has remained high, and there has been a rise in the number of fires: nine in total, five of which have resulted in major property damage. Knott outlined a number of organizational accomplishments, chief of which has been a very successful media drive to recruit volunteer firefighters. From the initial 100 attendees at the information sessions, there were 78 applicants: the final 25 will be selected and begin their in-depth training on May 8, which will continue until the end of October.
Council complimented Knott on the breadth and quality of his report, and on his management of the department.
“Touch a Truck”
Watch for more information on this Public Education Event which will be held at Keeley Road on May 9, in the evening, from 5:00-8:00.
On April 11, 2019 at 1914 hrs, Central Frontenac Fire & Rescue responded to a wildfire on Fisherman’s Lane near Arden. This is the first wildfire of 2019 for Central Frontenac Fire & Rescue.
On arrival, there was a small wild fire at a resident’s home. Fire crews quickly extinguished the fire. Cause of the fire is from a resident burning leaves.
Fire Chief Greg Robinson would like to remind residents to take proper precautions when having a camp fire and make sure someone is attending the campfire at all times. Fire permits are required for campfires, incinerators and small piles of yard brush burning.
North Frontenac Township is recruiting for it fire department.
“We have banners up in the municipality and hopefully we’ll get some response,” said Eric Korhonen, director of emergency services/fire chief.
While Korhonen has no idea how much response he will get, he would like to add about 10 new firefighters per station (Snow Road, Ompah and Plevna; the department also has a joint operation with Addington Highlands in Cloyne) or 30 overall. But, he recognizes that goal is more long-term.
“Realistically, we’ll probably add a handful at a time,” he said.
“Then you start training,” he said.
New firefighters receive a rural firefighters course, first aid, CPR and defibrillator training. Once every four months, there is a mandatory training session as well.
There is weekend involvement but Korhonen said “as a department, we try to be flexible, such as training on weekends so students can attend their classes during the week.”
Korhonen said there’s no cause for alarm at the moment but they do need some more people.
“Our roster is just not where it should be,” he said. “We have sufficient people to respond but people have other lives outside the department and we have to be able to cover for this.”
For Korhonen, the biggest reward of the job is “to protect your community and the people you’ve grown up with.
“When people need us, it’s at a time when they’re really down and really need us.”
There are other rewards as well, he said.
“We’re also teaching you a skill as a young person that you can easily transfer to the big city,” he said. “Plus firefighting is a brotherhood and the camaraderie is a big part of it.
“It’s a family and as you make a commitment to them and they’ll make a commitment to you.”
There’s also a lot of gratification when you help somebody that really needs it, he said.
“And let’s face it, lights and sirens are a rush.”
“If we adhere (to these training requirements), I don’t see how we can continue to operate a fire department,” Addington Highlands Fire Chief Casey Cuddy told Council at its regular meeting Tuesday in Flinton.
Cuddy was responding to an Association of Municipalities Ontario (AMO) memo on proposed mandatory training requirements for volunteer firefighters being proposed by the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.
“I understand the value of training,” Cuddy said. “But to continue the level of service we provide, you’re looking at 25 to 37 days of training at the fire college without exams.
“We can’t possibly make the deadline (later this year).”
Cuddy said that while some firefighters can be grandfathered in the requirements, (about 75 per cent of the Kaladar members), very few of the younger recruits can. And, he said, a force needs younger recruits for their physical abilities and to continue on as older members retire.
“Many of the younger members also have young families and jobs that require their time,” he said. “They can’t just tell their employers that they need to take 30 days off to go to the fire college.
“And even if they could, the fire college is booked solid for most of the courses they’d required.
“There are about 40,000 volunteer firefighters in Ontario and the courses can only take 40 at a time.”
“This would jeopardize our ability to provide fire protection to our sparsely populated area that has lots of Crown Land in it,” said Reeve Henry Hogg.
Cuddy said they try to do as much training as they can, and they use facilities in Napanee and Kingston when they can but that’s not always an option.
“It’s not like we have facilities where we can light a house on fire for training,” he said.
For example, he said, a fire department has to have pumper operators but just in order to take that course, other courses are required.
“The pumper course is five days but you can’t take that until you have firefighter 1 and firefighter 2,” he said. “Then you have to have the hazmat (hazardous materials) course and that’s another seven days.
“The fire college just can’t accommodate all that.”
“So, it’s not just timing, it’s content,” said Coun. Tony Fritsch.
AMO is asking rural municipalities to draft responses to the proposed changes. Those changes were developed by the Ministry, the Ontario Fire Marshall executive and staff, the Ontario Professional Firefighters Association, the Ontario Fire Chiefs Association, fire chiefs from full-time, composite and volunteer services, Toronto Fire Services with only an AMO staff member and one lower-tier CAO for the municipal perspective.
“This is just another urban vs. rural thing,” said Dep. Mayor Helen Yanch. “They keep throwing up these rules that have nothing to do with us.”
“I think it requires a change to lesser qualifications for smaller volunteer departments in rural municipalities,” said Fritsch.
Council passed a resolution, based on Cuddy’s recommendation, that he and North Frontenac Fire Chief Eric Korhonen draft a joint response.
Denbigh waste site
The application to re-open the Denbigh landfill is still very much on Coun. Bill Cox’s mind.
“Can we ask the Ministry when we can get an answer on this?” Cox asked Council. “It’s been 10 years, we’ve spent a lot of money and we’ve done everything they’ve asked.”
The Township is still looking at a few more changes to its landfills, including new hours and possibly “dump cards.”
But the information won’t be on the newly-approved newsletter that’s set to go out with tax bills shortly.
“We’re researching dump cards and it will be provided in correspondence at the time any decision is made,” said CAO/Clerk-Treasurer Christine Reed.
Current landfill hours are on the newsletter but changes such as requiring cards require Ministry permission and will be posted if approved.
Central Frontenac Fire & Rescue (CFFR) will soon be equipped with a potentially life-saving tool to deal with opioid overdoses.
CF FR fire trucks will be carrying naloxone for use by trained ﬁreﬁghters to treat patients.
"The administration of Naloxone by trained CFFR personnel will enhance the level ofservice CFFR provides to the public". Fire Chief Greg Robinson said.
Acknowledging the increase in opioid-related emergencies in Ontario, CFFR. in alignment with current Tiered Response protocols and with the suppon of Kingston Frontenac Lennox & Addington Public Health, will enhance service delivery through the administration of Naloxone.
CFFR Fireﬁghters are currently receiving training to deliver Naloxone. The program will be implemented once all training is completed and the Naloxone kits are put on first response ﬁre trucks, which is anticipated to be March l, 20l8.
Central Frontenac Council and staff met at the Oso Firehall Tuesday to have a second round of budget talks and while Treasurer Michael McGovern estimated they managed to cut about $10,000 out of the 2018 budget, it still looks like the Township plans to spend almost $348,000 more than it did in 2017, an increase of about 4.75 per cent.
On Tuesday, Council looked at the Fire, Public Works and Facilities budgets, with Corporate Services still to come.
There are still cuts likely to be made, for example, $7,500 for heat and $1,500 for electricity for the old library building in Mountain Grove.
In fact, Mayor Frances Smith told staff she wanted to see a report on all of the Township’s buildings within 60 days after Fire Chief Greg Robinson reported that the fire department has three buildings in Mountain Grove “one of which we use and two that we don’t.”
One of those buildings is used by the rec committee at the rink and Robinson said it could be used for fire equipment storage, which would make the old firehall in Parham surplus, meaning that property could be sold.
The former Hinchinbrooke Public School is expected to cost $8,000 but that could be considerably higher if the oil tank has to be removed.
In fact, several staff members suggested there were buildings and facilities that could be liquidated to reduce operating costs.
And there was some suggestion that even halls that are used are costing a lot. For example, Kennebec Hall brings in $3,000 in revenue but costs $20,000 to operate. Mountain Grove Hall costs $19,000 to operate while generating about $1,000 in revenue. Piccadilly Hall brings in $1,250 in revenue but only costs $8,500 to operate. Oso Hall (the busiest hall in the Township) is expected to cost $18,798 but brings in $5,500.
Coun. Phillip Smith cautioned that Council also has to look at ongoing commitments, using the proposed rink project in Sharbot Lake as an example.
“We’re worried about $5,000 for heating a hall but the ongoing costs for a refrigeration unit at a rink would be considerable,” Smith said.
Council instructed staff to go over the changes and recommendations already made and set Feb. 9 at 9:30 a.m. at the Oso Firehall for its next budget deliberations.
When Council reconvened from a closed session for their regular meeting, CAO Orr announced that they had just accepted Fire Chief Rick Chesebrough’s resignation; after more than 14 years of service for the township, Chesebrough will be leaving at the end of this week.
Later, Orr said this did not come as a surprise; “It’s been in the works for some time now: he did the math, and realized he was eligible.”
On behalf of Council, Mayor Vandewal congratulated Chesebrough, wishing him “many years of health and happiness.”
Council then passed a motion to appoint Terry Gervais as acting fire chief.
Support for Seniors Active Living Centre
Following last week’s presentation by David Townsend of SFCSC, Council moved to allocate 20% of the net annual operating costs to support SFCSC’s proposed Seniors Active Living Centre funding application, to a maximum of $12,000 annually over the next three years in a combination of cash and in-kind services to be negotiated annually with the Township.”
It has been suggested that with the ongoing support of the township, the SFCSC Board may wish to consider inviting a member of Council to sit on their Board.
Tax Sale Policy
Council approved a revised tax sale policy which incorporates the legislative changes from Bill 68. Two related by-laws authorized the treasurer to enter into extension agreements and provided for an administration fee to be charged once the tax sale process is undertaken.
Details about the sale of properties in tax arrears and a flow chart describing the process are available on the Township website, or at the Township office.
Township Granted $80,882 for Commuter Cycling Program
The township’s application through the Public Works department for funding from the Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycling Program has been successful: it will be applied to one of two projects planned for this coming year: fully paved bike lanes between Harrowsmith and Sydenham, or a bike lane adjoining a pedestrian sidewalk along the south side Bedford Road between the end of George Street and Alton Road in Sydenham. Public Works Manager Segsworth also plans to fit in a bike lane on the north side of Bedford; Mayor Vandewal questioned whether this might narrow a busy stretch of road too much. Segsworth replied that because of the busyness of the road, it was also a very dangerous stretch for bicycles.
Storrington Centre Upgrades
Council directed staff to issue an RFP for improvements to the Storrington Centre, to include a new optic system, accessible washrooms and entrances, kitchen upgrades and a new folding wall. $333,000 has been approved in the 2018 capital budget, for this. Councillor Sleeth thanked the Township’s Public Works staff and the Storrington Recreation Committee for all their help in planning the project.
Back-up Generator for OPP Station
Council has approved purchase of a backup generator to provide overall backup power for the OPP building at Hartington. This had been held up when Councillor Revill questioned whether a second generator was needed. Further investigation showed that the existing generator on site at the OPP station only provides fire pump back-up power for the sprinkler system.
On the recommendation of Corporate Services Committee, Council agreed to extend the contract with Frontenac Municipal Law Enforcement Inc. for a further two years from March 1, 2018 to Feb 28, 2020.
The 2018 members to serve on the Committee of Adjustment will be: Al Revill, Ross Sutherland, Brad Barbeau and Ron Sleeth.
There being no further questions for the planner, Council approved the zoning of a new waterfront lot on South Basin of Buck Lake, Loughborough district.
Council adopted the Corporate Services Committee’s recommendation to maintain the Township’s current investment strategy and to issue an RFP for investment advisory services.
A proposed by-law to amend speed limits on Rutledge Road was, on Councillor Revill’s recommendation, referred to the Public Works Committee for discussion.
About 52 per cent of the septic systems inspected during the 2017 program had no concerns, Eric Kohlsmith of Mississippi Rideau Septic System Office told North Frontenac Council at its regular meeting last Friday in Plevna. However, he said, only one system was recommended for replacement. The other 45 per cent only needed some remedial work including pump outs and replacing baffles.
“It should be noted that age was not a significant factor in the system deficiencies identified,” he said.
He said interaction with property owners was “very positive” and that 64 per cent of the property owners were present during the inspections.
He said 41 park land campsites were inspected in the 2017 program, all on Crotch Lake.
“Given the difficult access and rough terrain, the North Frontenac Park Lands group does a very good job in trying to place the privies in the ideal location — greater than 15 metres from the water and in soil with a depth of at least 60 centimetres,” he said. “The only systems found not to meet the 15-metre setback distance were on sites that did not have 15 metres to water — island sites.”
Kohlsmith recommended continuing with a re-inspection program with a mail-out by May 5, complete parklands inspections in the last week of August, the use of soil probes for locating new privy sites and the removal of “tables” in park lands sites near the shoreline to mitigate the washing of dishes and other grey-water sources.
The full report is available in the agenda package on the North Frontenac website
• • •
Fire Chief/Director of Emergency Services Eric Korhonen showed Council one of three packages (with four quilts each) that the Trinity Quilters of Verona have donated to the North Frontenac Fire Department and one package to the Kaladar/Barrie Fire Department.
“The Trinity Quilters have requested that the quilts be provided to individuals at emergency scenes who require warmth and comfort,” he said. “The quilts will be retained by the individuals who receive them.”
“They told us to let them know when we use one and they’ll replace it,” said CAO Cheryl Robson. “Any any local quilting groups are welcome to donate if they’re interested.”
• • •
Coun. Gerry Martin had quite a bit of feedback for Mayor Ron Higgins’ report on North Frontenac’s strategic plan, especially when it came to backing more boat launches instead of trails initiatives.
But Martin saved his best comments for the ‘values’ section where Higgins urged Council to be pleasant, accommodating, rational and show respect for all.
“I hope you’re not asking everybody to agree on everything — that’s not why we’re here,” Martin said.
“If we’re still around (after this year’s election), I’d still like to discuss this whole structure,” said Coun. John Inglis. “I didn’t know much about strategic plans four years ago and was skeptical about their usefulness.
“I’m a little better on them now.”