Fire Master Plan Debate

Tuesday, August 14, 2018 – A Special City Council Meeting was called for time sensitive matters that needed direction. One of these matters was approving- CNCL-18-74: Sole Sourcing a contract to Dillon consulting Ltd. to peer review the Fire Master Plan and create a Community Risk Assessment.

screenshot oshawa CNCL 18 74

Scholarly. Scholarly peer review (also known as refereeing) is the process of subjecting an author’s scholarly work, research, or ideas to the scrutiny of others who are experts in the same field, before a paper describing this work is published in a journal, conference proceedings or as a book. Wikipedia

I first learnt about the situation about the Fire Master Plan in the Oshawa Express, Fire review: Downtown response times under microscope.

The problems brought to light were:

  • low staff levels
  • totally response times below industry standards
  • shifting resources from the busiest Fire Hall 1 (Downtown) to Fire Hall 6 (North)
  • no fire training facility

Oshawa Fire Chief, Derick Clark felt the review of Fire Master Plan 2013 (created by Dillon Consulting Ltd) was satisfactory. “I’m very confident in the five year review staff have completed, this would validate the work that has been completed”

Peter Dyson, President of Oshawa Professional Fire Fighters Association (OPFFA) disagrees with the review and its lack of data. Oshawa Fire Master Plan

“I am disappointed in the report for its substance and lack of thoroughness. This report does not dig deep enough into the current level of service to adequately assess if the fire service is meeting our communities needs with our changing realities,” he says, noting that the union is supportive of the development of a training facility and the hiring of an additional inspector. However, he disagrees that staffing is adequate at current levels.

“We disagree with the Chief where he states that current staffing is sufficient. This is where a report such as the one we are developing will provide the necessary information to properly assess this critical area.”

City Council defeated the Sole Sourcing peer review 5-5, and deferred the Community Risk Assessment.

screenshot oshawa CNCL 18 74 minutes vote

“This is not about hitting the ground running. This is about making sure that our safety of our citizens are taken into consideration”, said Amy McQuaid-England.

Mayor John Henry thought, “If we were to have brought in an outside agency to do thjis again they would have had to start from scratch.”

For Peter Dyson, he says he’s surprised that this became a big issue, and City Council made the right decision to vote it down.  “I think as an association we’re happy that council defeated this request. As a review of a review, it does not appear to be a wise choice for tax payer’s money, especially when the person doing the review of the review isinitial person.”

Legislation requires a Community Risk Assessment coimpleted by July 1st, 2019. The OPFFA are in the process of creating a community risk assessment for the entire city of Oshawa alongside the International Association of Firefighters.

I felt passionate about this issue, and I made a Delegation.

screenshot adam delegation minutes cncl

August 14, 2018 11:00 a.m. City Council Special Meeting






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