Carlow Mayo CFSO examines occupant load capacity in local church

·3 min read

At their meeting on June 16, Carlow Mayo council received the monthly fire and emergency management report from Dwayne Meharrie, the township’s Community Fire Services Officer and Community Emergency Management Coordinator. He reported a structure fire in Hermon, the ongoing work on the Fire Protection Services Review, a study to determine the occupant load capacity of the church in McArthur’s Mills, all outstanding fire code files have been closed and no new ones have been opened, the annual emergency management exercise that will be coming up on June 23, some training that all township employees had completed recently and the severe windstorm that swept southern Ontario May 21, which thankfully did not impact Carlow Mayo. Council voted to accept Meharrie’s report.

Mayor Bonnie Adams introduced Meharrie’s report at the June 16 meeting and council voted to accept it. He revealed in his report that there had been a structure fire in Hermon on May 12, with the cause being undetermined. He said that the fire occurred in a detached garage on Stringer Road, and because Carlow Mayo doesn’t have a fire department, several residents assisted the owner in putting out the fire.

“The Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry was also put on standby in the event the fire spread to the nearby fields and wooded areas. The Office of the Fire Marshal Fire Investigation Services was contacted, however due to the heavy damage of the structure, origin and cause was not determined, classifying it as undetermined,” he says.

Extensive work was ongoing on the Fire Protection Services Review from the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management according to Meharrie.

“Work is progressing well on the review from the Office of the Fire Marshal, however, there is still a fair bit of work left to complete,” he says.

At the request of the owner of the church in McArthur’s Mills, Meharrie said he and staff are working with the church to determine the occupant load of the building.

“The owner of the church wanted the occupancy load of the church so they could determine how many people could safely occupy the building at any given time,” he says.

Meharrie told council that all outstanding fire code files have been closed and no new ones have been opened in the month of April.

The Faraday Community Centre will host the annual emergency management exercise that will be taking place on June 23. This exercise is necessary under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, and municipalities have to complete one each year to be compliant. As of May 17, according to Meharrie’s report, all health and safety inspections were completed on township buildings and facilities.

All employees completed the Joint Health and Safety Training on May 3, and Meharrie completed the NFPA 1033 Fire Investigations Training. Meharrie says that the NFPA 1033 is the standard professional qualifications for the Fire Investigator course, and according to the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs website, the course covers all investigative competencies like scientific method, origin and cause, scene documentation, scene safety, chemistry of fire, building construction and scene reconstructions. It also provides in-depth instruction on all aspects of assessing and investigating fire scenes relevant to fire protection services.

With regard to emergency management, Meharrie mentioned the severe windstorm that swept across southern Ontario on May 21, which caused widespread damage and power outages to neighbouring municipalities who subsequently declared a state of emergency. He said that no requests for assistance were received by Carlow Mayo for any resources to be deployed to any neighbouring municipalities.

There was a virtual meeting with the EMO and Hastings County on May 21 regarding the significant weather event, which Meharrie conveyed to council.

“The meeting regarding the storm provided information and updates on the status of the municipalities. Thankfully, Carlow Mayo was not affected by the storm.”

Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Bancroft Times

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