Reeve objects to comments on fire service

by Vance Gutzman

Amid all the fanfare with regards to the recent signing of a fire services agreement between the town of Deep River and Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, at least one local resident is still unhappy with the way town council has handled the municipality’s fire service.

Larry Dumoulin appeared as a delegation before town council last week, prefacing his remarks by actually congratulating council for fulfilling the mandate it sought in last year’s fire survey.

The fire survey of 2016 saw electors vote 89 per cent in favour of the second of two options, allowing council to attempt to negotiate, including interest arbitration if necessary, a reduction in the number of full-time fire fighters from eight to two, while adding 24 volunteers.

If unsuccessful, the option favoured by the majority of residents went on to state, the town could consider steps to transition the existing fire service model to one of “education and prevention” only.

“You tried your best, and circumstances being what they are, council was simply unable to deliver on the objective of reducing full-time fire fighters from eight to two within the mandate of negotiating or arbitrating which this council imposed upon itself in the specific mandate it sought,” Dumoulin told council members.

In the same breath, he told council there was no language in the fire survey’s second option to sanction an “any and all means” approach to reducing fire fighters.

“Implying there is a mandate beyond that which was specifically sought, and granted, disrespects the very integrity of principle of seeking a specific public mandate,” he stated.

> for more on this story, pick up a copy of the December 20 NRT…