In 2015, all seven municipalities in Northumberland consolidated their dispatching and contracted with Peterborough Fire Services to provide dispatching of all calls for Fire Department services. This raised the subject of whether there are other efficiencies to be found although the obvious idea of a single department is unlikely since several Towns are primarily Volunteer operated. But the Province has now provided $95K in funding to look into “service delivery efficiencies” and the County and Municipalities will now be doing this review. A steering committee led by Hamilton Township has issued an RFP for a consultant to see what can be done. All municipalities are represented, including Mike Vilneff, Cobourg’s Fire Chief. The intent is to create efficiencies and reduce costs so the review will include a line-by-line municipal budget review, a service delivery review, modernization/technology opportunities, and a review of administrative processes.
RFP Scope of Work
- Undertake an analysis of all current fire services and programs provided by the seven municipal fire services and examine the core functions of each fire department, including administration, fire prevention, public education, training, fire suppression, apparatus and facilities, and emergency management. The analysis is to include:
- How are services (administration, suppression, training, prevention, accountability, IMS/lCS, public education etc.) currently provided and are there more efficient options to delivery?
- How is succession planning being looked at by the municipalities?
- Station location from a non-border coverage perspective;
- Communications system and hardware;
- IT equipment and programs commonality;
- Recruitment, retention and compensation structure;
- Can Purchasing be undertaken more efficiently;
- Provision of Emergency Management and
- Work collaboratively with all municipalities.
- Ensure all recommendations identify opportunities to ensure the future and viability of the fire service;
- Ensure a range of opportunities to consult with, and engage, all local fire personnel in this review process;
- Ensure transparent and consistent communications and messaging to elected officials, paid and volunteer firefighters, and municipal staff and
- Examine compliance with current legislative requirements, and benchmark current services and programs against current industry standards and guidelines.
- Provide a summary of the current fire services/programs provided within the County of Northumberland, including the identification of opportunities where the delivery of fire services may be further enhanced to improve efficiencies or effectiveness at either the local level, partnering with other fire services or agencies.
- Based on solid, quantitative information, the review will ensure future direction and recommendations are based on objective evidence and recognized best practice. In part, the plan will address multi-year capital requirements related to apparatus, station assessment and location as well as tactical objectives for training, suppression, public education, fire prevention, department organization and human resource planning. The review should also consider the Emergency Management function.
- An Action Plan with clear timelines to facilitate multi-year planning, implementation and budgeting will help all users of the report to understand and make decisions and commitments that can be agreed upon, based on the outcomes of the report.
It’s planned to have the final report of the Consultant on-line by June 30 2020.
Cobourg Council were informed of the project at their meeting on 24 February.