Changes to fire dispatch explained to North Huron council

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NORTH HURON – During the discussion about renewing the fire dispatch agreement with the Owen Sound Police Services at the March 1 council meeting, councillors requested an explanation for an increase in the notification requirement when either party wishes to terminate the agreement.

The requirement went from a six-month to an 18-month notification period, and council wanted to know why.

North Huron Fire Chief Marty Bedard requested and received the following information:

“When a change occurs within the dispatch agency, whether it relates to who they dispatch or even a certain fire boundary change, Bell Canada requires six months notification to ensure all changes are made and testing is completed. Owen Sound Police Services must also keep in mind staffing level changes and commitments they may have with staff.”

It is also important to remember that if Owen Sound Police Services discontinued providing fire dispatch services to North Huron, staff time would be required to put out an RFP, award a successful proposal, and satisfy Bell’s minimum six-month notification requirement.

Councillors were satisfied with this explanation and passed the motion to continue the service agreement with the Owen Sound Police Services.

Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times