The Sault Firefighter Association will find out today if they will be allowed to appear and talk to council on April 11th, the next scheduled council meeting.
The firefighters want another chance to convince council that an Independent Comprehensive Risk Assessment be completed.
Al Horseman, Chief Administrative Officer is expected to present a report on how the Fire / EMS realignment plan is proceeding.
The risk assessment is available free of charge and conducted through the Ontario Fire Marshall’s office.
“The Sault Ste. Marie Fire Fighters are optimistic we will be granted standing in front of city council. Our purpose is to have the opportunity to present facts for the need of an Independent Comprehensive Risk Assessment review” said Union President, Marty Kenopic in a release.
“Also, we are in final preparation of a Geographic Information System (GIS) report from the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Washington. This comprehensive report has a wealth of information which we hope will be useful to Council in determining the need for an Independent Comprehensive Risk Assessment. I hope to have this complete by mid week.”
Ever since a plan, penned by Fire Chief Mike Figliola in the fall requesting that a reduction of 20 firefighters through attrition over three years and more resources going to the EMS.
Firefighters claim the plan will only allow 13 firefighters on shift at any given time and it puts the community at risk.
“The City claims there will be virtually no impact after eliminating almost 25 per cent of frontline personnel. As the firefighters who are on the front lines every day, we are warning that an independent and comprehensive risk analysis should be performed so that everyone knows exactly how such deep cuts will affect not only public and our safety, but also things like residential and commercial insurance rates.” Kenopic said in an email to council, “An on-duty complement of just 13 firefighters also limits our ability to respond to simultaneous incidents, and not just fires – we also respond to serious medical calls such as heart attacks, haz-mat incidents, water and ice rescues, vehicle accidents and more.”
Here’s a look at the Independent Comprehensive Risk Assessment