Budget Meeting – part three

A lot of ground was covered in the two days of budget meetings – but at around 6:00 pm on the second day, Council came in under their target as reported earlier. The first day included presentations by the Police even though the only thing Council could do was to reject the entire budget.  It was pre-approved by the Police board in closed session and only open to the public once it was approved. But at the budget meeting, the Police presentation was all about how the Police make a contribution to the Town both financially and with partnerships. More on this below. The Fire Department Chief and Deputy Chief, the Library CEO, the AGN Executive Director and Town staff Directors were all asked to explain their budget requests.

  • Police Chief Paul VandeGraaf said that the Corporate Services business of the Police is currently the leading national wholesaler of online Criminal Record Checks (CRCs) with over 50 clients across Canada and 37 employees (3 full time and 34 part time). They create value and wealth that stays 100% local. Between 2004 and 2020, Corporate services contributed $7.5M to the Town – that is they paid for Capital items that the Town would otherwise have to pay for per Provincial legislation. They also work closely with Venture 13, Cornerstone and Rebound. Further, the Police service saves money by using Auxiliary Police (volunteers) for some activities.
    Although the Capital request was zero, the Police operational budget came to $6,473,290 or 3.3% more than the 2020 budget.
  • The Fire Department wanted to hire three new firefighters this year.  They said that 4 firefighters per shift is normal and could be mandated by their next union agreement but currently they only have three.  So more firefighters are needed.  After a lengthy debate, some of it in closed session, Council agreed to just one new firefighter in 2021 with some talk that one extra might be approved in each of the next two years. Another issue that was debated extensively was the need for $800K in Capital spread over 2 years to replace the Pumper/Rescue Truck. A motion was finally made to move that out a year although I did not see an actual vote for that.
  • The Library budget was frozen at the same level as 2020. This will result in fewer staff hours and therefore fewer hours that the Library would provide service – currently order and pickup service.
  • Councillors were concerned that the Art Gallery of Northumberland (AGN) had too little fundraising and too little support from other municipalities and the County. The AGN originally asked for $185K but staff reduced this to $175K. Council felt that even this was too high and voted 4-3 to approve a motion by Brian Darling to reduce this to $150K. In commenting on usage, AGN Executive Director Olinda Casimiro said that 650 people had visited during the 2020 shutdown when people had to visit by appointment. She pointed to some support from the County (but not cash) and said that the AGN had limited resources for fund-raising.
  • Upcoming studies/reviews by consultants include a User fee study, an Organization review, an IT Strategic Plan and an Economic Development Strategic Plan. The RFP for the Organization review should go out in mid-February.
  • A new Director was planned to be hired to replace Dean Hustwick at Community Services. This was scheduled for April 1 but Council postponed it to September 1 pending the Organization review.
  • The major reason for a cost increase in the Public Works Department is the increase in the Transit subsidy due to low usage and free fares for much of the time. This subject has been covered in other articles. The $40K cost of the On-Demand Trial was approved.
  • A plan to install Electric Vehicle chargers for $8K was removed even though it was covered by a grant because it was premature and the cost of electricity used would not be recovered.
  • The $250k allocated to the Affordable Housing CIP was approved – it was noted that $35,287 is already committed for 2021 for the Trinity Housing project.
  • Staff proposed to convert the contract for the Accessibility Coordinator to full-time. But after a closed session, Council voted to extend the current contract for 6 months from October 2021 to March 2022.
  • An additional $25K was approved for more tree planting as recommended by the Parks and Recreation Advisory committee.
  • Councillor Brian Darling said that the Furnace Street Arenas are just costing money – and, what happened to the Ad Hoc committee that was supposed to be formed to address this issue? The budget was approved but a promise was made to follow up on the committee.
  • CAO Tracey Vaughan promised to review relationships with groups like the Concert band and establish MOU’s to define responsibilities etc. For example, should they be integrated with the Town’s budget or be part of the Community Grant process?  She also promised to review the Grant process and improve transparency.
  • Three Pay and Display machines will be installed – Third Street south of Albert; King Street east of Division – north and south sides. Cost $21,600 for 3.
  • No new Bus Shelters will be provided pending the On-Demand Trial.
  • There was considerable debate about the Adult Playground (or “Fitness Park” as proposed by Keith Oliver).  The grant of $25K has already been received and Staff suggested a reduced set of equipment equivalent to that installed in Port Hope. The total cost would then be $35K. Councillor Nicole Beatty asked “where is fundraising?” and Councillor Brian Darling pointed to future maintenance costs.  But in the end, Council voted 5-2 to approve the extra $10K. No location was specified – it may not be at the beach as originally suggested.

Although Council voted to approve the budget, final approval will be later in February.

Links

Reports on Budget Meetings

Addendum – 1 Feb 2021

At the regular Council meeting on February 1, Council officially approved the budget as described above with only minor changes which did not change the tax levy.

The following motion was passed:

WHEREAS the Committee of the Whole has considered the 2021 Town of Cobourg Operating and Capital Budget recommendations as presented at the Committee of the Whole Budget Meeting held on January 21, 2021;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT Council approve the 2021 Capital Budget in the amount of $8,139,600.

AND FURTHER THAT Council approve the 2021 Operating Budget with the Municipal Levy of $24,793,569 which represents a 0.4% increase over the 2020 Operating Budget and a (0.2)% net decrease after allowing for New Assessment Growth of 0.6%.

That is, if the valuation of your home changed by the same percentage as the average increase, you will pay less taxes to the Town this year.  So the average taxpayer will pay less this year on the Town’s portion of your tax bill.

 

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Wally Keeler
24 January 2021 11:37 pm

The Executive Director said that the AGN had limited resources for fund-raising.

They may have limited physical resources or they may have a limited imagination or a bit of both. It would be beneficial to examine the success of Critical Mass in Port Hope. It is a grass roots arts org. They engaged the community at street level. This, in turn, generated considerable support from community businesses, as well as small grants from prov. arts orgs. SUPPORT | Critical Mass (criticalmassart.com)

The AGN maintains a decades-long tradition of sequestering art in a specialized room ensconced on the 3rd floor of Victoria Hall. One couldn’t be more remote from the street. They are an official institution that’s been run with ‘official’ restraints, whereas Critical Mass is nimble and has responded with the imagination of the community. They manifest fun, fresh, engaging art experiences, emphasis on experience, at street level, where the general public exists. The AGN comes off as stuffy, elitist, looking down on the unimaginative streets as the general public walk past, walk past, walking.

Cobourg has been unable to get its act together ever since Lydia Smith and myself requested (two years ago) the Town replace ugly trash bins with bins painted by families with children to be placed in playgrounds. We provided links to articles about other communities that resulted in beautiful trash bins. The arts community, Parks and Rec, and or Downtown Business assoc. were able to get together to provide a single day of art marking trash bins in a number of North American communities. But Cobourg?

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Wally Keeler
25 January 2021 8:40 am

Have you done the division? In 2020, Cobourg’s taxpayers paid $170,000 (plus thousands more in Federal and Provincial grants) to maintain the AGN. The director proudly noted that they had 650 visitors last year. That means that the visitors cost Cobourg’s taxpayers $261 EACH.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Ken Strauss
25 January 2021 4:34 pm

Critical Mass provides a model whereby the community of arts gets a much bigger bang from much fewer bucks. I takes creativity, a resource that is sadly lacking in this Town of ours.

What'sUpDoc
Reply to  Wally Keeler
25 January 2021 8:53 am

Good luck with the painted trash cans, Wally. For the past 15 years I have suggested to Council, on a regular basis, to paint the doors along King Street. Never received an answer from anybody. This Spring would be a great time to brighten up our drab looking main street. Think Lunenburg. Think photographs of the doors made into postcards/calendars the AGN could sell. I agree 100% the Art Gallery is not in the right location. Move it to street level.

Barb
Reply to  What'sUpDoc
25 January 2021 9:27 am

I agree

Frenchy
Reply to  What'sUpDoc
25 January 2021 10:24 am

Hey Doc,
What colours from the Cobourg Colour Palette (top) would you have us paint these doors to get a Lunenburg-type feel (bottom)? 🤔 😉 🎨

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Last edited 9 months ago by Frenchy
Informed
Reply to  Frenchy
25 January 2021 10:53 am

You may need a brighter colour palette for the garbage cans to set them apart from these.🥴

What'sUpDoc
Reply to  Frenchy
25 January 2021 1:33 pm

Frenchy – you are so right, our heritage colours are dismal. Time for a change? I was actually referring to the doors leading to the upstairs units. Yes, store fronts have suddenly gone in for black, so a street door painted a bright colour, would make a lovely contrast. Let’s shake it up a bit.

Liz
Reply to  What'sUpDoc
25 January 2021 12:21 pm

The businesses are under private ownership not Town maybe that is why. Perhaps you should have contacted the Dowtown Business Improvement Association.

Last edited 9 months ago by Liz
Fact Checker
Reply to  Liz
25 January 2021 12:35 pm

Liz:
In most of the Town this would be OK. Howerver, in the downtown “heritage” district, the bland Heritage Colour Pallette rules. A property owner, perhaps inspired by the “east coast” (or Caribbean) colours, who painted his building or just his front door would likely run afoul of the Heritage committee.
As Wally would say….blandness forever.

Last edited 9 months ago by Fact Checker
Liz
Reply to  Fact Checker
25 January 2021 1:01 pm

Interesting Fact Checker, still a suggestion from the BIA to Council would be the way to go – thought I had noted different colours on the residential downtown doors – however I can think of one rental residential building on Division that could use a paint redo complete with scraping and putty first – presently it looks like flakes of beige – you could pick it off.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Liz
25 January 2021 4:38 pm

Or that Cobourg has an overactive bland gland.

MiriamM
Reply to  Fact Checker
25 January 2021 1:08 pm

It is my understanding that the Heritage Colour Palette (Frenchy includes a photo) is a base palette. It was developed by a citizen advisory committee which included professional artists and architectural designers who took into account, among other things, how light affects colour. For example, the south side of main street (King) is in shade and the north side which is sunny. The palette was not intended to limit colours used. In fact, alternative colours would be reviewed by Town heritage planning staff. What is interesting is what has happened in recent years. Take a look downtown and note how many storefronts are now painted black, or a shade of black.

Fact Checker
Reply to  MiriamM
25 January 2021 1:28 pm

Miriam:
Basic black….how can you go wrong.

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Fact Checker
25 January 2021 11:06 pm

Perhaps the Irish tradition of painting front doors to reflect the owners might be a consideration.
Works well there.
https://www.pjfitz.com/blog/door-installation-repair/what-your-front-door-color-says-about-you

Liz
Reply to  MiriamM
25 January 2021 1:59 pm

Regardless of colour – I patronize the ones I can afford to, instead of colour I look at products realizing many are single business owners unlike the larger retailers. Perhaps we won’t have to worry about colour as without patronage there won’t be any downtown. Black with colourful business names over is also what I see along with multi-coloured business signs.

Mrs. J.
Reply to  Fact Checker
25 January 2021 4:32 pm

Just wondering how that BLACK, WHITE, and SHOCKING PINK!! colour palette of the store that sells high-end bras was “approved” by the so-called Heritage Colour committee?!?! That store is in the “Heritage District”.
Our town NEEDS more “pops of colour” IMHO!

Wally Keeler
Reply to  What'sUpDoc
25 January 2021 4:30 pm

It doesn’t have to be a drab looking street. Those wonderful trees conceal a lot of sins of mediocrity or worse. The DBIA and AGN could collaborate to develop a birdhouse contest. A brief consultation with the Town Arborist will establish rules of hanging the birdhouses without harming the tree. It might inspire a bit of much needed creativity in this Town.

Leweez
24 January 2021 8:28 pm

Well I hope we,the tax payer, are going to buy the new firefighter her/his own bed to sleep in during their shift.
i wouldn’t want them to feel left out

Last edited 9 months ago by Leweez
cornbread
Reply to  Leweez
25 January 2021 11:59 am

I wonder what the “Cost per Fire” is in Cobourg…perhaps Ken Strauss could figure it out. Perhaps a volunteer program would be money better spent.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  cornbread
25 January 2021 12:29 pm

I’ve never seen an annual report of Cobourg fires. A quick Google finds only the DeJong and Waldie fires and both resulted in a total loss of their homes so not great success stories for our fire department. Perhaps someone can provide a list of local fires together with the results.

Rational
Reply to  Ken Strauss
25 January 2021 12:51 pm

The fire department respons to more than only fires. To name a few are rescue situations, accidents and related clean up, emergency situations.

cornbread
Reply to  Rational
25 January 2021 1:05 pm

Most of their calls are really an overlap of services provided by other Depts like Police or Emerg Medical.Any clean up should be by town employees.

SW Buyer
Reply to  Rational
25 January 2021 1:06 pm

And for this we need an $800K custom built fire truck $250K for “gender” supportive firehall renovations and 3 more firefighters?

Informed
Reply to  Ken Strauss
25 January 2021 2:51 pm

The Waldie fire was in Hamilton Township Ken.You seem like a stickler for facts. Basing efficiencies of a department as to whether someones home was destroyed reflects poorly on you.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Informed
25 January 2021 4:56 pm

The Waldie fire was in Hamilton Township Ken.You seem like a stickler for facts. Basing efficiencies of a department as to whether someones home was destroyed reflects poorly on you.

Yes, Informed, I try to stick to the facts. Based on the newspaper account, https://globalnews.ca/news/7252701/cobourg-ontario-fire-elderly-couples-home/ the Waldie fire was at 431 Victoria Street which is midway between University and Furnace. Is that in Hamilton Township? Why do you feel that the loss of a home is irrelevant? What criteria should be used?

Informed
Reply to  Ken Strauss
25 January 2021 5:24 pm

Sorry…the other Waldie fire( East side of Stanton road) was the incident i thought you were referring to. Ill take ownership of that confusion.I wasnt aware of their names on Victoria street.

Informed
Reply to  Informed
25 January 2021 5:42 pm

I know a few people that were grateful to the Cobourg Fire Department( and others) to be able to return to their jobs at Horizon plastics years ago. I believe that was a 15 million dollar fire. I think they were operational the next day. I guess my memory goes back a little further and i have a different way of looking at things. Hopefully there are no long term health affects.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Informed
25 January 2021 6:43 pm

Informed, all of our memories fade. However, see https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/fire-at-cobourg-plant-forces-evacuation/article4116920/ for a little perspective on who did what:
By mid-evening, crews appeared to have a firm handle on the fire, helped by a foam truck from CFB Trenton.

Informed
Reply to  Ken Strauss
25 January 2021 9:00 pm

Thanks Ken. Im aware of the article
I guess my point was…sucess can be measured in many different ways. This occurence was a reflection of many professional fire departments working together with a common goal of protecting property and jobs while ensuring the safety of each other. Picking a few fires for the purpose of guaging the success of any fire Department is shortsighted.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Informed
25 January 2021 9:39 pm

Picking a few fires for the purpose of guaging the success of any fire Department is shortsighted.

Informed, I agree. It would be great if someone were to provide data on more than just the two fires that I was able to find in a few minutes with Google.

Rob
Reply to  Ken Strauss
29 January 2021 10:08 am

Editorial – It Was Likely The Biggest Fire In The History of Northumberland County And It Happened Fifteen Years Ago – Today’s Northumberland – Your Source For What’s Happening Locally and Beyond

Yes Ken, lets remember who did what…

“A firetruck from CFB Trenton put an end to the flames. By the time officials got through the red-tape to get the truck to Cobourg, the fire was essentially under control as most of the product was burned.”

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Rob
29 January 2021 11:07 am

“A firetruck from CFB Trenton put an end to the flames. By the time officials got through the red-tape to get the truck to Cobourg, the fire was essentially under control as most of the product was burned.”

Rob, I believe that the emphasis should be as in bold above. Getting a fire under control by dent of complete destruction is not a result to be proud of. I’m reminded of the complete destruction mentioned in reports of two recent local house fires.

Rob
Reply to  Ken Strauss
29 January 2021 11:11 am

Ken – it appears that perhaps you don’t understand. Often the goal is fire containment which was accomplished. That could have been a 100 million dollar loss however Horizon’s production was up and running within 24 hours.

Kevin
Reply to  cornbread
29 January 2021 6:57 am

Perhaps a better question is, “how many fires are prevented by the fire department?” It may not be possible to answer though. From my understanding a big part of what the fire department does is education and enforcement of codes. Smoke and CO detector inspection for example. Neither fighting nor preventing fires is happening while the firefighters are sleeping.

Rob
Reply to  Kevin
29 January 2021 10:03 am

My feeling is most of the negative comments related to the costs associated with the CFD are made by those who have never experienced an urgent medical emergency or emergency situation which was attended by members of the CFD. If you had, you would likely button it up and understand the outstanding work these full time and part time fire fighters do and the value they add to the safety of our community. Regarding the “over lap” comment – in many cases the CFD is the first to respond delivering life saving treatment, in many cases, several minutes or longer before EMS/CPS can arrive (no fault of the EMS/CPS) … if it were you or your loved one, what would you be prepared to pay for those important life saving minutes? That doesn’t mean, their should be no fiscal accountability however be careful what you ask for…

Kevin – to your point, homeowners across Northumberland County change their smoke/CO2 detector batteries because of the messaging and reminders of the CFD. That action saves lives, even while the members of the CFD sleep. The education program in public schools, teaching young child fire prevention and what to do in case of a fire, saves lives and prevent fires, even while they sleep.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Rob
29 January 2021 11:11 am

Rob, what part do million dollar fire trucks play in the CFD education programs? How many safety inspections did they do last year? Why are EMS workers unable to be first to medical emergencies — should they get some of the funding currently directed to the CFD?

Rob
Reply to  Ken Strauss
29 January 2021 12:02 pm

Ken – clearly the armchair is getting pretty comfortable. But you didn’t answer my question – what would you be prepared to pay or would you prefer to treat it as rhetorical? You appear to only see cost, without an understanding of value – you likely work/worked in finance in some capacity.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Rob
29 January 2021 12:39 pm

Rob, your question was clearly rhetorical. You are ignoring:

Why are EMS workers unable to be first to medical emergencies — should they get some of the funding currently directed to the CFD?

I believe that we deserve to get the best possible results from all expenditures. Would spending more on EMS ensure that those best trained to deal with medical emergencies arrive sooner? The Fire Chief told Council that their 10-year old truck (20-year or more expected life) often wouldn’t start due to lack of maintenance. Something seems wrong! Why do CFD arrive before EMS?

And, no, I have never worked in finance.

Rob
Reply to  Ken Strauss
29 January 2021 4:06 pm

Sorry Ken – the Fire Chief didn’t say it won’t start due to a “lack of maintenance”. He actually said this particular truck, since purchased, has been a lemon. This truck actually caught fire while in the Fire Station and was involved in a rollover in 2018 during the ice-storm. It has been in the shop 3 times this year alone – sadly this truck is being maintained more than it should. This tanker is a critical piece of fire fighting equipment as it provides 1000 gallons of water which allows for immediate fire suppression – imagine it is your home on fire and this truck doesn’t operator in the manner it was intended.

Why does CFD arrive before EMS? Fella, I don’t know but I’d suggest that Northumberland EMS responds to calls throughout our county and CFD respond to calls only within the town (generally) therefore proximity to the emergency situation likely plays a role. EMS responses to approx. 60 calls per day which may play a role in there immediately availability. Regardless, I’m happy someone arrives in a timely manner…

CFD is obviously funded through Cobourg taxes…therefore I don’t suspect there is any interest in redirecting those funds to EMS.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Rob
29 January 2021 5:05 pm

Yes the Chief said that it was a “lemon, ha, ha” since its purchase. Who would pay for repairs three times in a year and still not have a working car? He didn’t recommend hiring a competent mechanic to actually fix it. He didn’t mention warranty repairs. He didn’t suggest suing the manufacturer. No, just ask the taxpayers for another $800K and maybe we’ll have better luck with a new truck! In any business such an attitude would be considered completely unacceptable.

CFD is obviously funded through Cobourg taxes…therefore I don’t suspect there is any interest in redirecting those funds to EMS.

An interesting perspective. Like EMS, affordable housing is not a Cobourg responsibility yet Council is happily supplying $250K. Surely something as critical to everyone such as EMS deserves an equal amount. Funding could come from not spending $240K for firehall renovations. Or not hiring 3 additional firepersons.

ben burd
Reply to  Ken Strauss
29 January 2021 6:37 pm

Ken whether you like it or not the issue of the extra firefighters is not in Cobourg’s court as it has been determined by other fire departments that increases to fire manning are determined by arbitration and the COVID crisis. In fact it was also determined by those negotiators that four extra FFs would be awarded by arbitration, in the next round of negotiations in Cobourg, so Council decided to head the Association off at the pass by giving them three extras.

If you don’t like this situation talk to your best bud Doug Ford and see if he can help you pinch pennies.

Last edited 8 months ago by Ben
Ken Strauss
Reply to  ben burd
29 January 2021 7:59 pm

Ben, I believe that you misrepresent several points:

  • Fortunately Council approved one more fireperson for 2021 rather than three according to John’s report.
  • It was alleged by the Fire Chief rather than determined that four extra FFs would be awarded by arbitration
  • Port Hope has a total of two full time firepersons rather than four per shift so there are certainly alternatives that do not require Ford’s intervention.
ben burd
Reply to  Ken Strauss
30 January 2021 9:18 am

You may say that the FC ‘alleged” more people but look at the recent arbitration awards and then eat your words
One more person per shift = 3 people

Last edited 8 months ago by Ben
Ken Strauss
Reply to  ben burd
30 January 2021 9:57 am

Yes, Ben, I agree that one more person per shift requires three additional people. When I wrote “four extra FFs would be awarded by arbitration” I quoted your erroneous statement verbatim. Perhaps you should reconsider who eats what.

Informed
Reply to  ben burd
30 January 2021 5:14 pm

If i knew how to provide the link for the sudbury arbitraion award,i would.

cornbread
Reply to  Rob
31 January 2021 11:29 am

I remember my neighbour telling me a few years ago regarding a house fire close to the corner of Burnham & Monk’s Cove down by the lake (the house was destroyed) where, in error, the fire truck travelled west on Pebble Beach instead of turning south on Burnham to get to the fire. I suppose loosing 4 or 5 minutes means a lot in a situation like this.

Informed
Reply to  Ken Strauss
30 January 2021 5:11 pm

Ems is ran by the County and cant be everywhere.They also transport patients to Peterborough and Toronto on a regular basis. The cobourg fire dept stays in cobourg and will only respond outside of Town limits for mutual aid. The Fire hall in Cobourg is occupied 24/7. Asked and answered

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Informed
30 January 2021 9:21 pm

Yes, Informed, I am aware of some of the differences. However, as a town of seniors with a need for EMS, why not reduce the fire department’s budget in order to fund EMS to better serve Cobourg’s residents?

Informed
Reply to  Ken Strauss
30 January 2021 9:43 pm

Many fire depts and ems work together using a tied response model . Alot of this was due to response time improvements that fire departments can offer because they are manned 24/7. Addtional monies were.made available for paramedics to become advanced paramedics offering care on scene that was once only available in a Hospital.setting.Firefighters are able to provide defibrilation,oxygen,epinephrine, and drugs to reverse the effects of opiod overdoses. The residents of Cobourg have one of the best systems in the Province.Pity its not recognized by some.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Informed
30 January 2021 9:59 pm

Are all of Cobourg’s EMS workers “advanced paramedics offering care on scene that was once only available in a Hospital setting”? If not, why not? What would it cost?

Informed
Reply to  Ken Strauss
31 January 2021 9:48 am

Ems is employed by the county Ken. You could ask the county some of those questions. Maybe google the differences between primary and advanced care paramedics. If you ask how much it costs Ken,Im afraid any cost would be too much for you lol.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Informed
31 January 2021 11:36 am

That is a curious reply considering your expert knowledge that “The residents of Cobourg have one of the best systems in the Province“. No, any cost is not too much. I just object to our taxes being squandered on unnecessary frills such as new offices in the fire hall and replacing an $800K fire truck because it is a “lemon”.

Gerald Childs
Reply to  Informed
31 January 2021 10:28 am

FF can not, as of 2019, administer epinephrine in Ontario.

Informed
Reply to  Gerald Childs
31 January 2021 11:45 am

Epi pens to treat anyphalitic shock are carried by most fire departments including Cfd.

Gerald Childs
Reply to  Informed
31 January 2021 11:59 am

Correct. When I read the statement they could administer epinephrine I interpreted that as drawing up the medication into a hypodermic needle and administering that drug under a cardiac arrest protocol. Which is not allowed. The idea of the epi-pen available to anyone with a prescription didn’t occur to me. Splitting hairs to some but a big difference in protocols licensed to the FD.

Kyle
Reply to  Gerald Childs
1 February 2021 11:37 am

Firefighters are able to provide defibrilation,oxygen,epinephrine, and drugs to reverse the effects of opiod overdoses”. Pretty basic stuff these days. Taxi & Uber drivers could get minimal training and carry same. Wouldn’t that make a difference in call for service costs.

Gerald Childs
Reply to  Kyle
1 February 2021 1:06 pm

FF (firefighters) take the Red Cross EMR (Emergency Responders Course) 80 – 120 hours depending on the jurisdiction (info I gleaned on searching, so I hope it is current). Ontario Paramedics take a two-year-plus course for a primary care paramedic at a Community College. Each level (L2, L3, L4) beyond Primary takes additional training with a base hospital under the base physician’s license. Classroom, labs, clinical field experience with an FTO (field training officer) There is no comparison to the educational, medical training between the two services.
Having taxi drivers equipped with an AED (automated electronic defibrillator) would be great. Who would pay the two grand for the AED and the cost of certification and renewals? Battery and cardiac pad cassette replacement. Who would regulate the training? Do we even have taxis available in Cobourg?
From personal experience, when calling 9 1 1 for a cardiac event, the responding paramedic crew came from Brighton to my Cobourg address. Twenty minutes to get to me was about three times more than the current response time recommended.
What would reduce cost is clearing the offload delay at hospital emergencies. Some crews in Ottawa and Toronto wait hours to offload their patient. There are numerous occasions where both cities have depleted their available ambulances because they can’t clear the patient off their stretchers.
The ultimate is to have the correct emergency service responding to the call in the safest and least amount of time. Every other consideration hangs on that premise.

Informed
Reply to  Kyle
1 February 2021 2:43 pm

I was ways told there are no stupid questions.

Informed
Reply to  Ken Strauss
1 February 2021 8:48 am

You want Cobourg taxpayers to fund County EMS.? Paying our Firefighters to man the hall and get paid 24/7 and watch ambulances drive by with more funding from Cobourg Taxpayers?

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Informed
1 February 2021 9:46 am

I was suggesting that Cobourg should explore providing more EMS funding to ensure rapid responses in Cobourg. Rapid EMS responses benefit everyone unlike many other taxpayer funded items. The money could come from reduced fire funding for a net zero change in taxes. Cobourg taxpayers seem happy to pay for buses that drive by empty so why not pay for EMS that arrive quickly when needed?

Leweez
Reply to  Rob
29 January 2021 11:05 pm

I prefer to not pay for firefighters sleeping on the job

Kyle
Reply to  Leweez
30 January 2021 9:15 am

Agree, it is time to re-make emergency services. A good start would be to seriously look and combining fire & EMS and look at what things they do that can be privatized. Paying around 100K a year for so called “fire prevention” is one of the first areas to look at.
I experienced the so called tiered response to a medical emergency where a bunch of fire fighters showed up first in bunker gear? just to stand around and wait for EMS to arrive. I guess they were there to hold the door.

Last edited 8 months ago by Kyle
Rob
Reply to  Leweez
2 February 2021 9:50 am

Leweez – How do you think Fire Departments function? You need staff onsite 24×7 to minimize response time, maintain equipment, etc… They are NOT “sleeping on the job”?!? SMH

SW Buyer
Reply to  Rob
2 February 2021 11:24 am

Rob,
If they’re not sleeping, why are sleeping quarters needed?
Numerous industrial operations run on a 24/7 basis and need to be staffed. Somehow they are able to do this without staff sleeping quarters and “sleep time”. The cops also manage a 24/7 service without “sleep time” and sleep quarters. Perhaps the FD should adopt some of these “best practices”

Informed
Reply to  Rob
30 January 2021 2:33 pm

I enjoyed reading your comments Rob. Unfortunately comments that reflect negatively towards our police, fire and paramedics appear to always garner the most down votes. Wait until the sunshine list comes out. Nice to read a different perspective and something more positive.

Rob
Reply to  Informed
2 February 2021 10:49 am

Thanks Informed
I’m often left disappointed with the level of criticism our first responders garner on this blog. I appreciate that tax payers want Municipal leadership to be good stewards of our resources, however the lack of acknowledgement for the good work that gets done by the CFD and CPS is appalling. While I do not wish anything negative upon any blog contributor, I do hope they remember who is running towards the accident scene, fire, overdose, domestic assault or robbery when they are running away.

SW Buyer
Reply to  Rob
2 February 2021 11:29 am

Rob,
It is very contemptuous to say that Cobourgians run away from accident scenes and other disasters instead of staying and providing assistance. Do you have any research to support your pejorative statement?

Last edited 8 months ago by SW Buyer
Kyle
Reply to  Rob
2 February 2021 1:58 pm

The reality is that these service delivery models are eating into taxes at a rate that will at some point in the near future potentially force municipalities into dire circumstances. Leap frog bargaining and arbitrations in these sectors spread across the public sector as the other unions & managers work to tie their salaries to the emergency sector. Why did fire & EMS start wearing similar uniforms and introduce rank into their management structure? To compare themselves to police who had been the most successful in leap frog bargaining.

Rob
Reply to  Kyle
2 February 2021 5:00 pm

I would suggest the history of firefighter brigades and the ranking system, which has been around for a very long time, is more closely related to military than aligning themselves with the Police for collective bargaining purposes….the ceremonial uniform is also found in military history.