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Clearview council has received a Master Fire Plan completed by Rick Monkman, of Emergency Management and Training Inc.

“You have a very dedicated group of people who really care about the people of Clearview. They want to do a good job and they want to be trained, but they really do care about their community and they want to provide a good service. I was quite impressed by the loyalty and the favourable comments from the firefighters, especially toward council support,” he told council members on Jan. 10. “You have been very good in supporting the fire department when it comes to apparatus.”

“We believe you are in good shape but with any fire department there is always room for improvement and I think you are well on your way,” said Monkman.

The Master Fire Plan contains 40 recommendations, a number of which have been completed or are in progress. Some recommendations can be implemented at council’s discretion and as funding allows.

The objective of the plan is to examine, research and review all aspects of fire department operations, planning, fire prevention, public education, training, communications, apparatus, equipment, maintenance, human resources, station locations, budget, and large- scale emergency preparedness.

The fire department is made up of 90 dedicated and professional ‘volunteer’ firefighters operating out of five stations with a total of 17 pieces of rolling stock, states the report. The department’s annual call volume is about 750-800 calls per year, with half being medical calls. Monkman found response times are good and the fire stations are well located.

Included in the recommendations is the acquisition of an aerial device with a height of at least 75 feet, and that the purchase of a used device be explored. Monkman said the costs of apparatuses are only increasing and becoming harder to acquire.

He said all fire departments are facing rising costs, and “staggering prices,” so he recommends updating the township’s fee bylaw if the department wishes to consider charging for certain types of calls, or recouping costs through insurance. Increasing costs are also associated with higher training standards and other standards set out by the The Office of the Fire Marshal. Another recommendation is to hire a third party under a temporary contract to complete the fire inspections and public education until such time as a decision on a full-time position is made.

Regarding Station 4 in Creemore, he recommends the exhaust extraction system be replaced and upgraded because it does not function as it should. “The system should have a direct connection to the exhaust pipe of the fire apparatus, such as in the units installed in all the other fire stations in Clearview, states the report. “Replacing the system and having a direct connection will bring the department in-line with the Section 21 Guidance Note, 3-1 reducing exposure to diesel exhaust,” which is a carcinogen.

Monkman is also an advocate for residential sprinklers in new builds, especially in large homes located in remote areas. He said there has never been a fatality in a home equipped with residential sprinklers. He said builders are reluctant to promote them due to the added cost.

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