Regional District to take over Charlie Lake Fire Department

Photo:  Representatives from Dave Mitchell and Associates Ltd. presented their report to the PRRD – Erica Fisher/Energeticcity.ca

 

Peace River Regional District is taking steps to improve the Charlie Lake Volunteer Fire Department.

These include hiring a new paid Assistant Chief and Training Officer, having the PRRD assume resposibility for the Fire Service as well as establishing an operations committee.

An external review of the Fire Department was commissioned after a proposal for a budget increase was rejected in March 2011.

The increase was requested after a public meeting in which residents indicated they wanted the Regional District to take more control of the department.

Dave Mitchell and Associates Ltd., a consulting firm, was hired to look into various governance models for the department.

They conducted the review between May and July and presented their recommendations to the Regional District at a meeting Thursday.

The review found that there was a need for better officer training and a lack of a strategic plan.

To address these concerns, the consultants recommended creating a public-based advisory committee as well as a staff-based operations committee.

They also suggested an initiative to recruit volunteer firefighters who work near the industrial area by the Alaska Highway, given that approximately half of fire responses occur there.

Lastly, they advised hiring one additional paid member to help put these changes into effect.

The Regional District plans to have the position of Assistant Fire Chief/Training Officer in place for January 2012 with the Operations Committee in action by April.