'Commitments' from city to address Beaver Lake fire concerns
Meeting between city and residents results in promise to increase firefighters in rural community
People in Beaver Lake in Greater Sudbury say they're cautiously optimistic about a city plan to increase the number of firefighters in the rural area.
Yesterday, Sudbury fire chief Trevor Bain and the chief administrative officer Ed Archer met with residents and promised to help improve service.
Jules Lalonde, a member of the area's fire services committee, says it's unacceptable that Beaver Lake only has three volunteer firefighters.
"That's why we are up in arms. It's a matter of public safety," he said.
"We believe that the city has finally heard that this is a question of safety and we believe that there is cooperation within the fire service to correct that deficiency."
Earlier this year, the city put forward a proposed Fire Services Optimization Plan that was eventually voted down by council. That proposal included a plan to shut the fire station in Beaver Lake. People in the community had threatened legal action against the city if the plan had moved forward.
More recruitment sessions planned
Trevor Bain, the city's chief of fire and paramedic services, says it was a positive discussion with residents.
"We do recognize that we've got a few areas of the entire city, including Beaver Lake, that need more volunteer firefighters as soon as possible," he said.
"We want to attempt to do some sort of community survey in some of those areas that gives us an idea by household who right now may be available and may wish to become a volunteer."
Bain says the city also committed to holding more orientation and recruitment sessions to find more volunteers as soon as possible.