Northern fire department needs help from Smiths Falls

Chief Rick Chesebrough
Chief Rick Chesebrough waits to speak at Monday night’s Committee of the Whole meeting. Photo credit: Sally Smith.
Posted on: September 25, 2018

Sally Smith

Wharncliffe Fire Department, located in a northern municipality northwest of Sault Ste. Marie, has asked that Smiths Falls “receive emergency calls and notify Wharncliffe Fire Department of the call,” because they can’t “afford the current price increases for dispatch services.”

The current cost to them is $800 and to cover the costs they have been “selling sandwiches on the side of the road.”

Chief Rick Chesebrough, at council Monday night, said Wharncliffe doesn’t want “dispatching services, only to receive 911 calls and then call the first person on the 10-man list, then go to the next person.”

That concludes Smiths Falls’ activity, he said. He explained that Wharncliffe has no pagers, portable radios or cell phone coverage, and has responded to 15 calls in the last eight years.

His recommendation is to “offer them a one year trial period. If they exceed four calls a year, they pay $300 for each additional call.

“For us to process this, our time is minimal. It’s an opportunity to assist a small department with no impact on our resources.”

Council members agreed to his recommendation.

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