The organizational changes to Emergency Response services which were announced by the Municipality on September 29th are being met with mixed reactions from local fire departments.
“We have mixed feelings,” said Coleman Deputy Fire Chief Doug Cox.
“These changes are definitely going to increase service… and we feel we should be doing whatever the province sets as the minimum standard, but we would also like to be consulted on how we can meet those standards.”
Blairmore Fire Chief Jamie Margetak said he was also disappointed the fire chiefs were not consulted when the municipality was looking at restructuring protective services.
“I think it was poorly handled,” said Margetak.
“So far, we have been told what we’re going to do, instead of being consulted,” said Cox.
“We can see it’s going to be very expensive, and we think we know better ways to meet those standards without the increased cost to the taxpayer.”
Cox recognized that the changes came as a result of the province making changes to the Alberta Fire Code earlier this year, in response to several house fires in Calgary and Edmonton.
In several newer communities where homes are built very close together, house fires can spread quickly and damage several properties.
The changes to the Fire Code, and subsequent restructuring of several municipal emergency response departments, were instituted in order to rectify this and other problems facing fire crews.