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Little appetite for fire hall amalgamation

By Adam Riley Mar 28, 2023 | 7:30 AM

A number of recommendations were placed before council as part of a report by the Loomex Group on the capabilities, needs and overall assessment of the Dryden Fire Service last evening.

Of the many recommendations presented to council one includes the amalgamation of the city’s two fire halls into a new centralized location Terry Gervais of Loomex Group explains the reasoning.

“When we reviewed the stats, Station One was actually past the doors of Station Two or at the doors when they were responding, so really that area is being serviced a lot by Station One.”

The report indicates the response time from Station One on Memorial Avenue sits at around four minutes.

Fire Chief Chris Wood isn’t too fond of that recommendation and argues despite staffing challenges that site has value.

“The logistics of the housing and the population around that hall, it is a challenge but I will tell you together between Hall 1 and Hall 2 we compliment each other very well and we get a very good job done.”

Overall Wood acknowledges the importance of the details and the data provided as part of the assessment.

The topic of closing Hall #2 has been broached in the past and recent decisions by the city has Mayor Jack Harrison considering the recommendation unpalatable at this time.

“When you look at our budget we’re already investing in both  fire halls, current direction of council I don’t think that would be priority, but that is up to council.”

But Harrison says he is open to some of the other recommendations.

Other recommendations included in the report could see members of the service cross training with other organizations, and have non-city residents billed for services rendered within city limits, for that Gervais says there are some options.

“It’s your by law, and you can tailor the by law. You could give the latitude to the Fire Chief, based on certain circumstances, to not bill the non-residents.”

The full report along with other recommendations can be found here.


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