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Council reviews report from Fire Chief on Baddow Fire Station

March 16, 2016 - Yesterday in a Special Council Information Meeting, Fire Chief Mark Pankhurst brought forward an informational report on Baddow Fire Station.

Council approved the station consolidations of Little Britain and Oakwood Fire Stations and the closure of Baddow Fire Station in November 2015. The report was in response to Council’s request that staff follow up with answers to the questions submitted through public correspondence, including the petition against the closure of Baddow Fire Station, since their decision to approve consolidations.

Chief Pankhurst explained that the consolidation is part of an overall effort to ensure that City resources, including buildings, equipment and staff, are deployed in the most cost effective way. All proposed changes are carefully studied and evaluated in light of their impact on service delivery before being approved.

The process leading to the closure of Baddow Fire Station has undergone a series of studies and approvals, including an in-house station location study with the assistance of a third party consultant, Apex Pro Consultants. The objective of the study was to review the Fire Station locations within the City of Kawartha Lakes. The project scope included investigating the Fire Service response time performance and coverage, identifying areas of the City where, relative to industry standards, response time performance and coverage appears reasonable and areas for improvement. The review included an assessment of Fire Station locations considering the department risk and needs, allocating resources based on priority needs, public safety, financial sustainability and value for money, response times and coverage capabilities.

The report also addressed response times and coverage. The Fire Rescue Service has adopted National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1720 as the minimum response criteria for the department and will continue to meet the NFPA 1720 standard in the new response area. Due to overlaps in neighbouring station coverage, eliminating the Baddow Fire Station does not adversely change the fifteen minute initial response within this geographical area of the city.

“I want to be clear that we are not changing the level of service. We are changing the service delivery model,” states Chief Pankhurst.

Some equipment has been redeployed to the Coboconk and Fenelon stations and the tankers now have six person seating capacity which will carry more firefighters for emergency response into the Baddow area.

In response to concern about the volunteer staffing, the report confirms that the nine firefighters have been offered to redeploy to either the Coboconk, Fenelon or Burnt River Fire Stations. No firefighters will be laid off or lose their jobs as a result of the changes in the Baddow Fire Station.

“The Office of the Fire Chief and the station location study team stand behind the approach used in the station location study. These changes make economic and operational sense and fits within the City’s mandate to live within our means while providing the best service delivery,” comments Chief Pankhurst.

A public information meeting is scheduled for April 3, 2016 at the Fenelon Falls Community Centre at 1:00 pm to review the Fire Rescue Service Station location study and implementation.

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For more information please contact:

Mark Pankhurst

Kawartha Lakes Fire Chief

705-324-5731 Extension 520

mpankhurst@city.kawarthalakes.on.ca

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