Piccadilly fire shows need for municipal cooperation: Steve Kent
The minister for fire emergency service in the province says a recent fire in Piccadilly that levelled a home highlights a need for municipalities to work together on emergency services.
Steve Kent, also the minister for municipal and intergovernmental affairs, said residents need to educate themselves on what services they are paying for, and what they aren't.
Firefighters in Lourdes didn't respond to a residential fire in nearby Piccadilly Friday night because the town and homeowner had not paid for fire protection, and the home burned to the ground.
The homeowner said she was unaware she could pay for individual fire protection, and Kent said it's important for people in unincorporated communities, like Piccadilly, to keep track of their services.
"I would encourage residents in every community of Newfoundland and Labrador to understand and get educated about what services are available to them, what services are in place in their communities," he said.
Meanwhile, the Lourdes fire department said they would have fought the fire if someone's life had been in danger.
Kent said his department would be willing to help the towns reach an arrangement for shared services to avoid this kind of incident in future.
"If these communities wanted some assistance to try and arrive at an agreement that resulted in everybody having fire protection, then we'd be quite willing to facilitate that conversation," he said.
Kent added the fee per household, per year is "very insignificant" to ensure fire protection services.