Nova Scotia

Windsor Fire to stop service to West Hants in October; residents worried

A Falmouth nursing home is worried about the Windsor Fire Department's plan to stop serving the the Municipality of the District of West Hants at noon on Oct. 23.

'It's a shame they put politics ahead of safety,' said Rob Kehoe, a Falmouth resident

Windsor Fire Department and Municipality of West Hants are severing their joint fire services agreement. (CBC)

A Falmouth nursing home is worried about the Windsor Fire Department's plan to stop serving the the Municipality of the District of West Hants at noon on Oct. 23.

The Windsor Elms Village houses just over 100 residents and has been in the community for close to 50 years.

"We will not settle with a level of fire serve any less than the current level of service provided by the Windsor Fire Department," wrote CEO Sherry Keen in an emailed statement to CBC News.

She says the safety and welfare of the home's residents, staff and visitors is paramount.

"Those whom we serve must have confidence in our fire safety plans and procedures," Keen wrote.

The fire department passed a motion to cut ties with West Hants at a members' meeting on Friday.

But fire service to West Hants could end sooner.

The independent non-profit says if the municipality does not pay for the second quarter and for service up to Oct. 23 by Sept. 30, they will end their relationship immediately.

"I guess it's a shame they put politics ahead of safety," said Falmouth resident Rob Kehoe.

Dan Powell, who also lives in Falmouth, says the fire service is second to none.

Falmouth resident Dan Powell says the fire service in provided by the Windsor Fire Department is second to none. (CBC)

"When a call comes through, they're on the road immediately," he said.

Powell points to the recent fire at Crosby Stables. It was Windsor Fire who took the lead as five horses were killed, and one man was seriously injured.

"They were there immediately. I live on the back town road, I heard them going by on the back road and they were there immediately and with lots of equipment," he said.

Last week, the West Hants municipal council voted to accept an offer from the department to continue fire service for another 20 months then start their own fire department after that time.

'Jeopardizing the morale of our members'

The Windsor Fire Department said the 20-month offer was to work on the relationship between the fire department and the council and to continue service into the future.

In a statement on its Facebook page, the department said, "Some finality had to be brought to this issue as it was jeopardizing the morale of our members and the integrity of our organization, which all of our members are overwhelmingly committed to preserving."

"We need to focus on what we do best — provide superior fire protection and safety to the communities we serve."

West Hants council will respond to the development in the next few days, according to a news release.


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