Fire services study launched by MRC Amalgamation possible?

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Allyson Beauregard

MRC PONTIAC – During the regular Council of Mayors (CoM) meeting on September 20 (see page 2), Council approved spending $15,000 for a study regarding the organization of fire services in the region. The study will be conducted by Richard Lefebvre, former Director of Fire Services in Rouyn-Noranada.

Allyson Beauregard

MRC PONTIAC – During the regular Council of Mayors (CoM) meeting on September 20 (see page 2), Council approved spending $15,000 for a study regarding the organization of fire services in the region. The study will be conducted by Richard Lefebvre, former Director of Fire Services in Rouyn-Noranada.
The study which is expected to be tabled in the Spring of 2017, will report on the current situation of fire services in the region and propose one or more solutions to improve fire safety services in the Pontiac.
According to MRC Pontiac Warden and Mayor of Fort-Coulonge Raymond Durocher, the study will also evaluate the possibility of amalgamating some of the fire departments. “The consultant will evaluate conditions in all municipalities and oversee a scenario for our fire departments to work together in both every day practices as well as in large emergencies. Some fire departments have plenty of fire fighters and not enough equipment, while others suffer from the reverse. Sadly, some departments don’t have enough equipment or fire fighters,” he explained. 
The total amount the municipalities of the MRC Pontiac spend on fire service costs (vehicles, equipment, maintenance, etc) has been a topic of discussion many times at the CoM meetings, with most agreeing that the costs are much too high in proportion to the region’s population. 
The Chichester-Sheenboro and L’Isle-aux-Allumettes departments amalgamated to form the Pontiac Ouest Fire Department this past July. While both fire stations will still be used and funds already accumulated by both departments remained their own, a new financial account was established for the Pontiac Ouest department. Glynn Fleury assumed duties as Fire Chief and works four days a week, eight hours a day. 
The study stems from the results of a working session on the future of fire services in the Pontiac that was held on October 3, 2015. Elected officials, municipal managers, and the fire chiefs from each municipality participated in the session. The costs of the study will be financed through the Territory Development Fund (FDT).