Council had approved the first reading of Fire Service Bylaw, establishing a fire protection service in partnership with the County's neighbouring urban municipalities.
Lethbridge County has an Emergency Management Bylaw that applies to more major scale emergency and disaster management and fulfills the requirements of the Emergency Management Act.
To ensure the County's Fire Services Coordinator has the appropriate authority to assist and work in conjunction with contracted urban fire departments, it is recommended that a Fire Services Bylaw be established to create the entity known as Lethbridge County Fire Services (LCFS). The purpose of LCFS is to help deliver fire protection services throughout the County. This type of Bylaw is common practice in Alberta. Without the Bylaw in place, there may be some reluctance by the Fire Chiefs of contracted urban municipalities and other organizations to recognize and accept the authority of the County's Fire Services Coordinator.
"I've sat down with three of the departments and went through this document (and) a lot of them realize that they didn't know there wasn't one established prior and the fact that their authority right now is not officially out in the municipality, so they're looking forward to a bylaw being created," said Fire Service Coordinator Byron Fraser.
I've met with all of them individually multiple times already now (and) it’s set out right in my initial chat with them that we're not here to take anything over from them whatsoever I'm here as an aide, added Fraser.
Adopting the Bylaw is in line with other municipalities for fire service provision. It will enhance the ability of the County's Fire Services Coordinator better to represent the County's interests in fire services matters. There is also no direct cost associated with adopting Fire Services Bylaw No. 21-017. Council has approved the Fire Services Coordinator term position until the end of 2021.
Jaxon McGinn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Sunny South News