Providing fire dispatching services for other municipalities has proven to be a lucrative new source of extra revenue for the Town of Smiths Falls.
At a town council meeting on Feb. 21, councillors approved a recommendation from Fire Chief Normand Beauchamp to sign a contract with the Municipality of Highlands East to provide the service for that small municipality located between Bancroft and Haliburton.
Smiths Falls will provide communications services only, with actual emergency response being the responsibility of local fire fighters and vehicles.
Beauchamp explained that the Smiths Falls Fire Department has both the communications infrastructure and the staff expertise to provide fire dispatching services to other municipalities.
As of Feb. 1 the department began offering that service to the Municipality of Algonquin Highlands.
“These days we can do fire dispatching to anywhere,” said Beauchamp. “We could do Iqaluit.”
Highlands East has a population of 3,249. Providing dispatching services to that municipality will bring new revenue of approximately $10,000 a year to Smiths Falls.
“I have a meeting tomorrow with two other municipalities,” Beauchamp told council.