Nova Scotia

Cape Breton municipality's fire services under review

A U.S.-based consulting company has started work on a review of fire services in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.

29 fire stations to be looked at by U.S. consulting company

Charles Jennings (right) of Manitou Incorporated addresses the fire services committee of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. He says the goal is to improve the quality of service. (George Mortimer/CBC)

A U.S.-based consulting company has started work on a review of fire services in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.

Manitou Incorporated was awarded the $50,000 contract to look at everything from response times and equipment needs to the possibility of creating a single fire department under one administration.

Company representatives are in Sydney until Monday to meet with fire chiefs, volunteer firefighters and municipal staff.

Manitou project manager Charles Jennings outlined the company's key areas of study at a meeting of the regional fire services committee on Friday. He said the goal is to improve the quality of service.

There are 29 fire stations in the CBRM, most of them volunteer, and many of them in rural areas.

"The study will look at how the current service is doing, what it's going to look like in the future and what changes are going to be necessary to deliver service within the current budget," Jennings said.

Manitou is also going to look at insurance issues for volunteers and the need to create a full-service local training centre. 

Bernie MacKinnon, the Cape Breton Regional Municipality's director of fire services, said the status quo is no longer acceptable.

The review is an opportunity to look for innovative ways of doing business," he said.

In addition to talking to personnel in the fire service, Manitou will solicit feedback through a mail-in and an online survey.

The company plans to file its initial report with CBRM early in the new year.

The final report is due at the end of March.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now