St. Marys Fire Chief makes case for hiring Deputy
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Jan 21, 2015  |  Vote 0    0

St. Marys Fire Chief makes case for hiring Deputy

St. Marys Journal Argus

Stew Slater

St. Marys Journal Argus

At a special budget meeting of St. Marys Town Council on Tuesday, Jan. 20, Fire Chief Dennis Brownlee was scheduled to make a presentation suggesting that the 2015 Town of St. Marys budget include funding for the hiring of a Deputy Fire Chief.

Currently, Deputy Fire Chief Brent Dundas serves the St. Marys Fire Department on a volunteer basis.

Brownlee’s report was entitled “Deputy Chief Business Case.” Main points included highlighting some of the duties that a paid Deputy Chief might undertake for the St. Marys Fire Department.

“Every municipality shall establish a program in the municipality which must include public education with respect to fire safety and certain components of fire prevention,” the introduction to Brownlee’s report explains. The municipality must also “provide such other fire protection services as it determines may be necessary in accordance with its needs and circumstances,” it adds.

Public education and prevention, fire safety inspections and enforcement, and emergency response are described in the report as the “three lines of defence” required to be provided by the municipality.

The provision of a deputy chief, the report suggests, would aid the department in “comply(ing) with mandatory requirements for the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, comply(ing) with identified needs of the Municipal Fire Protection Information Survey, enhanc(ing) the fire safety of all occupancies and education of building owners, (and the identification of) what could be improved.”

Also on the agenda for Tuesday special budget meeting were reports and discussions about the following: Financial status of the Town; a review of the Town’s debt schedule; reviews of reserves and reserve funds; a review of investments; a review of the2015 tax base; a review of grant requests, and a review of service costs.

In an email prior to Tuesday’s meeting, Mayor Al Strathdee informed the Journal Argus he has asked for the addition of a 10-minute “public presentation period” at the beginning of each of Town Council’s planned special budget meetings — which are open to the public. Subsequent planned budget meetings, all of which take place starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Municipal Operations Centre on James Street South, are Thursday, Jan. 22, Tuesday, Feb. 10, and Thursday, Feb. 26. For planned agendas for each meeting, visit the Town’s website at www.townofstmarys.com/ and click on the “2015 Budget Meetings” tab.

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