Pitt Meadows Endorses Consultant Report on Fire Rescue Services

Press Release

January 13, 2016 #2016-01
For further information, call Mayor John Becker 604.465.2410


Pitt Meadows, BC – Last night Pitt Meadows Council received and released a comprehensive summary report reviewing the current Pitt Meadows Fire and Rescue Service model. The report was authored by Dugal Smith of Dugal Smith and Associates, a highly experienced and respected professional in both local government and fire services. He had very positive things to say about the City’s current model, its volunteer paid on-call firefighters, and the service delivery systems in place.

The report, which was the result of four months of interviews, as well as document, process, and statistical reviews, included recognition of the city’s performance in many key areas including efficient and effective functioning in all core fire service areas (emergency response, inspections, prevention, education, training); strong legislative and internal systems that support the current model and enable it to perform well; scalability within the model to ensure a strong fit for foreseeable community growth; and a comprehensive and rigorous training program that produces fully qualified and skilled fire and rescue service professionals.

When the Pitt Meadows composite service delivery model, which is composed of primarily paid on call volunteer team supplemented by a small career staff, was compared with similar municipalities in BC, Pitt Meadows scored well on response time, training, apparatus and equipment, the inspection programs, service costs per capita, and the reduction of critical incidents. Seven comparator jurisdictions were used, including White Rock, Oak Bay, Central Saanich, Colwood, Courtenay, Comox, Sooke, and Esquimalt. These comparators utilize either largely career staff or similar composite models to Pitt Meadows.

"These results are a testament to Council’s past and present commitment to bylaws, like the mandatory fire sprinkler requirement, that support and enhance the current fire service delivery model and limit the potential for major structural damage. The focus on prevention and education not only saves money but more importantly, it saves lives," said Mayor John Becker.

A number of recommendations have been identified and supported by Council:

-  Continue to support the paid on call system and increase its capacity
-  Enhance partnerships with neighboring jurisdictions and partner agencies (RCMP, Ambulance and CP Rail)
-  Improve the Paid on Call remuneration, growth opportunities and benefits
-  Identify the future need to replace the current Firehall

"Council is very supportive of the paid-on-call model, which provides a tremendous critical service to our community," said Mayor Becker, and he thanked Mr. Smith for his comprehensive and critical look into delivery of fire and rescue services in Pitt Meadows.

The summary report is available on the City’s website at pittmeadows.bc.ca.