Morinville Fire Department moving to implement Fire Service Plan

by Colin Smith

Hiring a fire prevention officer, starting a legacy program and clarifying the status of emergency status for Alexander First Nation are among many initiatives Morinville Fired Department is currently pursuing.

These initiatives were outlined in the Fire Service Action Plan presented by Morinville Fire Chief Brad Boddez to Council at its regular meeting Tuesday, Apr. 28.

Boddez referred to the 23 recommendations made in the 2013 Fire Services Study and the 24 recommendations in the Fire Services Master Plan brought forward in 2019.

He said that of the 37 recommendations in total, seven have been completed, 15 are in progress, 11 are scheduled for completion in three to five years and four are ongoing.

Recommendations that have been completed since the Fire Services Study include the Fire Department becoming a municipal department, accomplished in 2013, adoption of a new fire services bylaw, and creation of a 10-minute fire response map for the Town of Morinville and future developments.

Also in the completed category is hiring a fire prevention officer, which will take place this fall.

In-progress initiatives include the development of a Legacy Program aiming to keep retired members involved with the Fire Department through activities such as public outreach.

The Department is hoping to further support Alexander First Nation, following clarification of the status of emergency response to it. This is a problem because of liability issues, and discussions are now underway.

The Department’s 2003 pumper truck was scheduled for replacement this year at a cost of $1.1 million. But the purchase was removed from the 2020 capital budget and pushed over to next year.
The Department is also looking to go ahead with proposed Fire Hall upgrades over the next couple of years, at an estimated cost of $3.6 million.

Another in-progress item is the development of a building inventory program and establishment of a cyclical fire inspection program for higher risk fire and life safety occupancies.

The Department plans to undertake a comprehensive risk analysis of the community and develop a Standard of Cover to effectively manage risks.

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It is also examining acquiring the purchase of advanced equipment management software to implement an asset management program.

Another action issue is the Department response and compensation agreement with Sturgeon County.
A detailed financial analysis would be conducted to determine if the Town is being adequately compensated for the services provided to the County, following an analysis of call volumes.

The Department be assessing the types of calls it receives to develop a resource management protocol for equipment and staff and establish a more detailed category of responses to identify trends and mitigation strategies.

False alarm trends will also be analyzed, with a view to reduce their occurrence and costs through public education and enforcement of fees for nuisance alarms.

Items scheduled for completion include the creation of an advancement and succession plan and development of a mentorship program.

The ongoing category also covers staffing issues, including the weekday staffing challenge, identifying roles and tasks of frontline positions, and evaluating the health and wellness program.

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