If I’m interpreting the Daily News article correctly, the fact that the city uses 3 fire fighters on a shift is in contravention of a WCB regulation. Now I’m not sure if this happens all the time or just on random times or if it’s scheduled in or what.
Doesn’t really matter though as in a way they are kind of playing roulette I guess. As the union guy said, the potential for criminal charges and financial costs is there should some unfortunate incident occur resulting in death.
So if they’re doing costing at City Hall is it worth to have a potential lawsuit for x amount of dollars costed against a full shift of four, which seems to be the WCB’s bottom line on this issue. Of course the story is based on the words of a union rep, so its slanted in favour of the fire fighters. But, how many people really knew that we only have three fire fighters on shift at any give time and how many knew that they have to wait for a fourth before they can enter a building? Not many I would think.
The problem seems to be the city rarely communicates these things to us, they don’t say “here’s what we plan to do, here’s what will happen”.
The auxiliary fire dept is a good example I guess, since no one really knows what the plan is for that, what it would cost and how it would affect the professional dept over the course of the years. Do they stop replacing fire fighters as they retire off, choosing instead to utilize the auxiliaries more? It’s stuff like that which makes people suspicious…
If given the choice I wonder if people in town would prefer an understaffed fire dept to lets say owning citywest or a cable tv operation. Or in owning the collection of land that the city has purchsed over the years for whatever use they have planned. Or any other questionable project that they have launched at city hall over the years, I’m sure others can come up with their own list.
I would think that if you were to ask your average tax payer what the priorities might be they would list, police matters and fire protection/prevention as the 1 and the 2 with many of the other city services further down the line.
The city regularly sends all six councillors and the mayor off to the UBCM meetings normally down south or in the Okanagan, which would be ok if the city were flush with money I guess, but even then might be a bit too large a delegation. How much on travel expenses could they have plowed back into protective services in the last ten years or so.
They plan on hiring a number of consultants to examine different departments but at what cost? Do they really need more studies over and over again?
Seems that they are having a problem in prioritizing the things that taxpayers might be interested in.
Now it’s a hard job I’mÂ sure to try and cobble together budgets for a city strapped for cash, but they have assets that they can sell if they have to. I’m not sure that a city of what 12,000 or so should be in the phone or cable business, same for the real estate business, the ferry business etc.
They need to put everything out on the table and let the people have a say on things, if we don’t want to have a full time fire department then we should tell them I guess. Otherwise they should provide what the standard is and find a way to redirect the cost elsewhere. Same with policing.
If the union rep is right, then we’re one bad fire away from a multi million dollar loss and that would put us further behind the eight ball than we are at the moment.Â Â Â Â Â