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Hot words over fire dispatch issue past year, the townships of Champlain, Russell, Alfred-Plantagenet and East Hawkesbury, the Village of Casselman, and The NationMunicipality have been assessing the cost of keeping to their agreements with Hawkesbury or switching to contracts with Ottawa also, or pursuing another route. This all resulted from a consultant’s report presented last year to the UCPR on fire dispatch. Mayor Barton said that he is not suggesting the UCPR take over fire dispatch. All Barton wants is for director Chrétien to help with coordinating the “political side” of the discussions between the six mayors and their fire station chiefs because he would have more experience and expertise about dispatch needs within the region.
GREGG CHAMBERLAIN email@example.com
The tone got a bit heated last Wednesday morning at the counties council session when the topic of fire dispatch service came up. The six municipalities in the United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR) that contract with the Town of Hawkesbury for fire call dispatch have decided to seek an alternate and cheaper service provider.The temperature in the room during the June 9 committee of the whole council session started to rise a little bit when Champlain Townshipmayor Gary Barton asked if Michel Chrétien, the UCPR’s emergency service director, could assist with coordinating a discussion session between the mayors of the six municipalities and the chiefs of the local fire departments on the needs and options for their fire dispatch set-up. “I just see more involvement for the counties,” saidWarden Guy Desjardins, who is mayor for the City of Clarence-Rockland. “If the counties takes this over, then a quarter of that (cost) would be paid by Clarence- Rockland, and I’m not in favour of that. If it were a minute amount of money, I have no problem with that.” The City of Clarence-Rockland contracts with the City of Ottawa for its fire dispatch service while the Town of Hawkesbury provided the service for itself and the other six UCPR member municipalities. For the
UCPR chief administrator Stéphane Parisien expressed concern about one of his staff becoming involved in the debate now between the mayors over fire dispatch service and risk becoming a target for blame if any of the mayors are upset at the final results. “It’s a very political dossier,” Parisien told the council, adding that he will support Chrétien on any recommendations or suggestions he is forced to make. “The one thing I don’t want is for M. Chrétien to be the fall guy…or get pinned to the wall.” Hawkesbury mayor Jeanne Charlebois expressed agreement with Desjardins, adding that both Clarence-Rockland and Hawkesbury are dealing with their own fire dispatch needs and that the other six
The sixmunicipalities in the United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR) that contract with the Town of Hawkesbury for fire call dispatch have decided to seek an alternate and cheaper service provider.
municipalities should do likewise. She later added that Hawkesbury will send out official letters to the six municipalities confirming that the fire dispatch contract between them and Hawkesbury will end in 2017. During a later interview, mayor Barton said that the six municipalities are looking at a possible service agreement with Ottawa
but right now they are trying to figure out the potential costs and benefits , both in terms of actual service rates, equipment upgrades, and such. “We’re in the process of sending out an RFP (request for proposals),” Barton said, “for what we need to do and what it would cost to go to Ottawa.”
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