Town hosting seminar on fire protection

FORT FRANCES—Members of council, as well as town management, will get to learn more about fire legislation, responsibilities, and requirements at the “Essentials of Municipal Fire Protection” seminar to be held Jan. 31 at the Memorial Sports Centre.
“The actual delivery of this particular seminar is something that is new. In fact, I guess we are one of the pilot communities to receive this,” Fort Frances Fire Chief Ger. Armstrong said in an interview Monday.
“It’s based on the legislative requirement of mandatory fire protection of communities,” he explained.
“More and more has been handed over to municipalities to provide all of these services based on minimum requirements, namely public education, fire prevention, and fire suppression itself.
“The intent of the seminar is to give municipal officials an idea of what those minimum requirements are,” Chief Armstrong added.
In a invitation received by council on Monday night at its regular meeting, Larry Lundy, fire protection adviser from the Office of the Fire Marshall in Dryden, said the seminar will deal with the provision of fire protection based on municipal needs and circumstances, including:
•legislation, guidelines, and standards;
•due diligence;
•roles and responsibilities;
•performance measurements;
•service delivery models and options; and
•available support programs and services.
The seminar, which will run from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., is focused on providing information and material that will assist municipal decision-makers when dealing with community fire protection requirements, noted Lundy.
He said participants will:
•enhance their understanding of fire protection needs, obligations, and legislated requirements;
•learn how to plan for fire protection and prevention services;
•understand options for delivery of fire protection based on local needs and circumstances;
•assist with the identification and implementation of required fire protection improvements; and
•be informed of the support programs and tools available to municipalities.
“I would like to see as much participation as possible,” Fort Frances CAO Mark McCaig said to mayor and council at Monday night’s regular meeting.
Council referred the matter of sponsorship of two coffee breaks and a lunch break for the seminar to the Administration and Finance executive committee for its recommendation.
Also at Monday night’s meeting, council:
•heard a presentation from Russ Fortier, chair of the Rainy River Future Development Corp. regarding enhanced economic development activities in Fort Frances and referred it to the 2007 budget process;
•passed a bylaw to enter into certain lease agreements at the Fort Frances Airport;
•passed a bylaw to authorize the submission of an application under the Rural Infrastructure Investment Initiative for renovations to the Portage Avenue underpass (this application would be for the province to pay up to 75 percent of the $2 million-plus project);
•heard a verbal report from McCaig regarding “Hockeyville”;
•received an invitation from the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce to sit on the business retention and expansion task force, and named Coun. Tannis Drysdale as the town’s rep; and
•referred a request from Fort Frances Police Services Board regarding Bylaw 66/90-B (snowmobile access routes) to the Planning and Development executive committee for review and its recommendation.
(Fort Frances Daily Bulletin)