This morning at the Protective Services committee the City's Fire Master Plan study was presented. I didn't get to attend but was at the presentation of the draft plan back in June.
The report has confirmed what we believed waaaay back before the election when we told the county that we could not guarantee service beyond the current contract. We knew the local fire service was under sized for our region and that with out a significant investment we couldn't in good faith continue serving the areas outside the city. With the expansion of both the County and City there just were not the personnel or equipment to go on doing it.
Eventually we did come to an agreement with the county to renew the contract we had for service outside the city. This has seen an increase in the amount they contribute to the service (up to $1.6m in 2009 &$1.9m in 2010) and I think we'll see a move towards some kind of integrated regional fire service over the next two years.
But in the mean time (and knowing that we have additional money coming in) Council has approved expanding the city fire service over the next three years with a new hall somewhere on the west side of the city. This will give us halls in the north, south and west and good coverage across the region. This doesn't come cheap though - below is what is approved in the City's 2008 - 2010 budget for setting up that third fire hall. Thanks to Deputy Chief Lemieux for the concise data.
Third Hall Architectural Design (2009): $850,000
Third Hall Land Servicing (2009): $500,000
Third Hall Construction (2010): $8,500,000
Third Hall Pumper Truck (2010): $600,000
Third Hall Rescue Truck (2010): $150,000
Third Hall Tanker Truck (2010): $150,000
Third Hall Small Vehicle (2010): $40,000
Total Capital for Third Hall & Equipment: $10,790,000
2008 Operating Budget Increases due to new firefighters:
Six (6) firefighters hired in June 2008: $240,000
Gear & Equipment for new firefighters: $18,000
Impact of additional firefighters on 2008 operating budget: $258,000
2009 Operating Budget Increases due to new firefighters:
Full-year cost of the 6 firefighters from 2008 ($518,710) plus additional ten (10) firefighters hired in Jan 2009 ($764,640): $1,283,350
Gear & Equipment for new firefighters: $30,000
Impact of additional firefighters on 2009 operating budget: $1,313,350
2010 Operating Budget Increases due to new firefighters:
Full-year cost of the 6 firefighters from 2008 ($567,799), plus full-year cost of the 10 firefighters from 2009 ($946,332), plus additional eight (8) firefighters hired in July 2010 ($350,227): $1,864,358
Gear & Equipment for new firefighters: $24,000
Impact of additional firefighters on 2010 operating budget: $1,888,358