The Skinny on what is Planned for our Fire Department

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Rumours are abound that there are going to be changes in our fire department. The Fire Chief is looking to save the city $11-Million over the next three years but the consequences could be scary.

He wants to eliminate the Tancred Street Fire Hall and 2 fire trucks, as well as 3 positions in the firefighter crew.

“At the end of the day you can’t build enough fire stations in any city, small, medium or large to get there in 2 minutes,” Chief Mike Figliola said.

“After 2 minutes in the house no one is going to get in and no one is going to get out….rescue is almost nonexistent…death has already occurred.”

He says smoke alarms and sprinklers are going to save lives, not firefighters.

The Sault Ste. Marie Firefighters Association or SSMFFA has been tweeting on Twitter about this scary notion and their feelings like they have been let down, though not said specifically.

There is currently no training officer.

The fire chief said a taxi stand operates better than their comminications room. And after all this is said, he wants to make the cut backs.

Watch the videos of the meeting and see for yourself.

This is video clip #1 of the October 2015 closed-door meeting with city council and the Fire Chief. This is the second half of the meeting.

16 COMMENTS

  1. After watching the two part video linked to this article it leaves me with a very unnerving feeling of the impending tragedies looming over us. Comments like “after 2 minutes no one can be saved”. Every day you can read a news story of people being saved from fires but apparently our Fire Chief doesn’t believe this. Watching the video there is very little concern shown by our council over this comment. That is even more disturbing as the sheer lack of respect for the citizens of SSM is not being shown here. Do our lives not count? The Chief is trying to save 11 million dollars and is willing to risk our lives and the lives of our firefighters to do this? What is going on here? We are paying are our taxes and we deserve the very best Fire Service for our money. Not a service that depends on calling people from home or calling in Mutual Aid depts that may or may not get here in time to help. How long does it actually take for an overtime crew to get to the station to man an apparatus? I’m sure at the best of times it wouldn’t be in 4 minutes. We need a properly staffed fire service.
    The Chief wants to close the fire station downtown, get rid of 2 trucks and reduce staff by 3 men. Let me get this straight. Now we have less trucks, further away, and now we will only have “10” firefighters on duty!! This is NOT Acceptable!
    The Chief say smoke detectors and sprinklers save lives. They absolutely do. Is this City going to take the 11 million dollars it saves and start installing smoke detectors and sprinklers in everyone’s homes? Not a chance.
    Our fire protection was costing us less than a dollar a day, which is a far cry from what insurance rates are going to jump to. But that is not the issue. The issue is having a proper Fire Service that we can count on.
    The Chief has made no improvements to the Firefighting Service in this city and he has been here over a year now. He has only reduced the Service that we had to a dangerous situation for all of us.

  2. Time for everyone to start going to city council meetings and speaking up LOUDLY ! Sitting here writing about it will do nothing. If you believe, truly believe that this is wrong, and that the firefighters lives as well as citizen lives are in danger……….. go and speak up !

    • A person or delegation wishing to appear before City Council must make the request in writing to the City Clerk giving details of the matter to be spoken to.

      The request must be made no later than one week prior to the City Council meeting at which the delegation wishes to appear.

      The request is reviewed by the Agenda Review Committee and the City Clerk will advise the person or delegation of the decision. If approved, the delegation is listed on the City Council meeting agenda.

      The maximum length of time for a delegation to appear before City Council is five minutes.

      For additional information please contact the City Clerk at cityclerk@cityssm.on.ca or call 705-759-5388.

    • I totally agree with Marilyn !!! When the next meeting is booked let the people of Sault Ste Marie know!!!!and I know I will be there !!!! SEE YOU AT THE NEXT MEETING !!!!!!!

  3. Where is this idiot getting that “2 minute” timeline from. NFPA requires a four minute response time, which our FD is well able to meet — for now.
    Plus, taking away 1 hall from the downtown core increases the response time to the multi-story, high occupancy buildings in that area.
    This is a sad state of affairs.
    If the City needs to save $11 M, start trimming the administration in the copper-windowed palace on the waterfront.

  4. omg WHAT?? According to the chiefs logic we might as well not have ANY fire services. If all hope is lost in 2 minutes and it takes firefighters 1 and 1/2 minutes to leave the station, then everyone is dead already, every time?!! Me thinks we need a real fire chief, not a bean counter. It took 18 firefighters to put out the recent CN garage fire, many called in on overtime. like c’mon that was just one incident! What happens if a downtown seniors building starts fire for gawdsakes!

  5. we need a few more fire stations and trained firemen for the job, I hope city council sees this and does the right thing.

  6. Our chief is completely incompetent to make such reckless statements and cuts? According to an article from Firefighting in Canada “Fire-department proficiencies are measured in a number of ways, including cost per capita, underwriter surveys, annual fire losses and governmental benchmarks. Recently, in several Canadian cities including Calgary and Toronto, there has been considerable attention on one particular measure – fire-department response times. Understandably, communities are passionate about the ability of their fire departments to respond quickly, and most people comprehend the inextricable link between quick response and reduced losses of life and property.” So why is our chief and council so opposite to the norm? Why are we not passionate? There have been many citizens of Sault Ste Marie who have been saved by the quick response of our fire department.

  7. Where did they find this Fire Chief? He has caused nothing but problem since he has been here.We had the best Fire Service and the work got done.Now we have no harmony with our Fire Service. The moral is so low you could pick it up with a shovel.We do need a change and City Council needs to fire this Fire Chief ASAP

  8. How close would the nearest station be and how long would it get them to a fire downtown? Sounds like a lot of bunk to me

  9. Used to think this guy was OK, now I’m having serious doubts…Many more cutbacks and Aweres will have better fire protection than the Soo.. Time for council to rethink some of this crap…He wants to shut down the only fire hall in the most fire-prone area of town ??? Something wrong with this picture to me……..

  10. All of these panic cuts thanks to the billionaire deadbeats, Essar, ladies and gentleman.
    They have screwed this town over like it’s never seen and it’s far from over yet.

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