Important steps to support and meet the long-term needs of the Armstrong-Spallumcheen Fire Department have been successfully completed.
The changes are intended to support and ensure the continued safety of firefighters by providing essential training, equipment and facilities they require.
“This will enable our professional, dedicated and committed volunteer firefighters to continue to deliver fire protection services to our residents and businesses in a very cost-effective and efficient manner,” said Armstrong Mayor Chris Pieper, fire services commission chairperson.
The change process was kicked off by a series of recommendations contained in a fire service review by the firm of Dave Mitchell and Associates in 2013.
“We are confident these actions will confirm now and into the future councils’ support for our valued fire department and firefighters who provide Armstrong and Spallumcheen with an outstanding public service,” said Spallumcheen councillor and fire services commission vice-chairperson Joe Van Tienhoven.
Changes include a major addition and improvements to the fire hall, which are scheduled to be completed in August.
Major changes to modernize bylaws and agreements have been completed. Those include a new intermunicipal agreement between the city and township. Both municipalities established the fire service commission to whom the fire chief reports and will liaise with both councils.
A ‘playbook’ was introduced in 2014 from the provincial fire commissioner that confirms the nature of training for structural firefighters.
Councils also approved creation of a full-time position for fire chief, and a temporary full-time contract position was approved to provide support as needed to implement the transitional requirements as a result of the playbook.