Charlottetown fire chief pleased department review included in budget

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Charlottetown fire chief pleased department review included in budget

Charlottetown's fire chief was smiling after Wednesday's 2017 city budget dropped.

In the City of Charlottetown budget address, it was pointed out that fire is a priority this year, as the number of outgoing calls remains constant with 577 in 2016. 

"We put in for a lot of asks and what we do know is you may ask three or four budgets in a row for something and all of a sudden you get it," said Fire Chief Randy MacDonald.

New fire hall 

The biggest thing for the Charlottetown Fire Department is the fact that the city is moving ahead on building a new fire hall to replace Station 2, which is now on St. Peter's Road. 

"Station 2 is a little bit close to Station 1, it's from the former town of Sherwood," said MacDonald.

"So it has to be realigned a little bit to make sure we have response coverage from the north end of the city."

The city has dedicated $1.15 million in 2017 for land and design work, and says they want to place the new station strategically to capture future growth. 

There is also about $1 million set aside for new equipment.

"Back in 2006 there was a fire department review and in that review there was an apparatus listing of when future trucks need to be replaced and we're following that list ... so the truck is up to be renewed," said MacDonald.

Fire department review 

Finally there is also money set aside for a fire department review, to follow up on that one in 2006. The money for that hasn't been decided yet, it has to go out for a request for proposals to hire an independent consultant to conduct the review. But the line item in the budget under reports did go up to $45,000 from the budgeted $21,000 in 2016. 

"Normally when a fire department does a review, and we're not a stranger to it we've done them in the past, they will look at suppression, they will look at prevention they will also look at our dispatching and our water resource capabilities and they'll look at those four components and they'll come back with reviews and we'll go from there," said MacDonald. 

He added that good things come out of reviews, so he is happy to see one in the plans.

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