CRD forges ahead asking costs for regional fire dispatch

Fire leaders suggest unified call centre could ‘realize significant cost savings’

The CRD Planning and Protective Services Committee seek a more specific costing model for potential regional fire dispatch service after a staff report suggested it is not only feasible but could mean cost savings.

The committee saw and discussed the report during its March 28 meeting.

“Without exemption, fire leaders in the region stated that there would be significant operation al and economy of scale benefits to the establishment of a regional fire dispatch system ultimately leading to improved emergency response and firefighter safety,” the conclusion says. “The establishment of a single regional fire dispatch centre under a unified governance structure would align fire operations in the region with the appropriate mandate, realize significant cost savings and efficiencies.”

The report came about after a heated debate during the CRD board meeting in December. At that time the board agreed to gather information on establishing a single regional fire dispatch centre a notion put forward by Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen who was absent from the recent Planning and Protective Services Committee meeting.

The CRD is also building a South Island Communications Centre through 2018 to house a unified 911 call answer and police dispatch centre that meets post-disaster standards. The 13,000-square-foot, two-storey building at 4219 Commerce Circle in Saanich will feature a communications centre in an open workspace concept. The 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week operation will also be equipped with redundancies for all mechanical and electrical.

Construction started this year with completion expected in 2019. There are no current plans to build fire dispatch into that centre.

RELATED: Saanich make appeal for regional fire dispatch system

RELATED: CRD divided over fire dispatch, agrees to investigate single site option

Earlier this month, Colwood, Esquimalt, View Royal, North Saanich and Sidney announced plans to contract fire dispatch services from Surrey rather than Saanich as per their current agreement. The five communities started to search for alternatives in late 2017 and early 2018, after Saanich announced it would double its charge in the face of financial pressures. The District of Saanich says it can no longer afford to subsidize service to smaller municipalities.

Oak Bay is also considering options as its contract expires this year and expects to see a similar rise in associated costs.

Staff Report Analysis of Feasibility of Reg'l Fire Dispatch Model-CRD by Christine van Reeuwyk on Scribd


 

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

UVic team revved up for international competition

Students geared up for Formula Hybrid April 30 to May 3 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Lack of security: why Vancouver Island food production is on the decline

Big Read: agriculture a big, expensive commitment as advocates push to make us more food secure

Coroners office investigates death of Victoria-area teen

Investigation involves ‘male teenager’, confirmed student at Oak Bay high

UPDATED: More rental homes under construction in Colwood

New housing project underway on Sooke Road for families, seniors and people with disabilities

Cops corral pig on the loose in Cordova Bay

Pig was trotting towards Pat Bay Highway from Cordova Ridge

Lt.-Gov. Guichon believes she made the right decision in last B.C. election

Outgoing Lt.-Gov Judith Guichon said her most memorable moments weren’t surrounding the election

Spring Home Show this weekend in Colwood

West Shore Parks and Recreation will be transformed to showcase everything home related

Saanich mayor recommends fall referendum on future amalgamation talks

A Saanich councillor applauds the possibility of a referedum on whether Saanich… Continue reading

NAFTA: Talks continue through weekend in scramble to get a deal

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland called negotiations ‘perpetual’

Pulp mill fined $900,000 for leaking effluent into B.C. lake

Mackenzie Pulp Mill pleaded guilty to depositing deleterious substance into water frequented by fish

B.C.’s 2-year lobbying ban starts May 1

Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists can grant exemptions from the prohibition if public interest

Horgan speaks of government’s successes to ‘friends’ at CUPE BC convention

CUPE BC president Paul Faoro said was first time a B.C. premier addressed convention in some time

Speed Skating Canada fires coach Michael Crowe after investigation

Crowe was a coach on the American team from 1983 to 1991 and again from 1999 to 2006

5 things to know about the ongoing influx of asylum seekers in Canada

Number of illegal border crossings are up this year – as RCMP, military, politicians try to combat

Most Read