At the July 7 Faraday Township council meeting, the ongoing fire services review was discussed by council. The contract for this review was awarded to Loomex Group at the May council meeting, and a meeting was convened between Councillor Murray Bowers, the council representative for the Faraday fire department, the clerk and treasurer Dawn Switzer and Terry Gervais, the director of the education and compliance division with the Loomex Group to apprise them of the review’s progress. The review’s final findings will be presented by Gervais at the council meeting on August 4.
The bids received back in April for the fire services review were from four different companies and the bids ranged in price from $5,860 from the Loomex Group up to $24,900 from Emergency Management and Training Inc. The other two were from Performance Concepts Consulting and the TDC Group for $19,900 and $9,800 respectively. Ultimately, council went with the bid from the Loomex Group, whose head office is in Peterborough.
Gervais, who is handling the fire services review for Faraday, has over 36 years experience in fire services and a quarter century of senior management experience. He is a graduate of the Ontario Fire College, completed the Emergency Management Program, Business Administration and is a certified municipal manager level three, with fire service distinction. He also writes and instructs the education and emergency management programs.
Faraday township staff had been instructed at the Feb. 3 council meeting to check with the Ontario Fire Marshal to determine if they should get a fire services review regarding the initial query about the fire hall addition or renovation. Hiring a consultant to go ahead with this review was approved at the March 3 meeting and a tender was subsequently put out. The tender closed on March 31 and staff reviewed the quotes and presented them to council on April 7. Due to the disparity between the quote amounts, council asked staff to approach the bidders to ensure they knew exactly what they were looking for in a fire services review. At the May 5 meeting, council approved the bid from Loomex Group and they got started with the review. Council directed staff to set up a meeting between Loomex, Bowers and Switzer with regard to the fire services review at the June 2 meeting, and that meeting occurred on June 8 at the township office.
According to Switzer, the objective of the project is to review the township’s fire services to determine best practices that will provide the community with efficient service delivery and cost efficiencies and see if there are any areas to improve upon.
Faraday fire services are provided by volunteer firefighters who are managed by a volunteer fire chief. The township operates two firehalls; one at 13 Lower Faraday Road and the other at 2107 Bay Lake Road.
Mayor Denis Purcell asked Bowers how that June 8 meeting had gone during the July 7 meeting, and Bowers said that Gervais had just explained to them what they were looking at. In response to Purcell’s query whether Bowers thought it was all going in the direction he thought it should be going, he replied in the affirmative.
“He didn’t fi ll us in on the details of his findings yet, but he said it was looking good. He seemed quite knowledgeable as far as I’m concerned. He knew what he was talking about and he has a lot of experience. I believe he’s going to have a report back for us next month,” he says.
Lisa Hall, the deputy clerk and treasurer, confirmed in a July 7 email that Gervais will be presenting his final report on the fire services review at the August 4 meeting.
Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Bancroft Times