BLC policy sets standards of service

The Craig Bissell Municipal Services Facility houses the Enilda Fire Department. It is named after long-time fire chief Craig Bissell.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Big Lakes County has updated its standards for the level of services for its fire department.

At its regular meeting May 26, Big Lakes council adopted a policy to set the levels of service for Big Lakes County Fire Services.

“The new levels-of-service fire policy guides the fire service as to how to respond to an incident, train to meet the levels of service and make appropriate funding requests to support the levels of service approved,” fire chief Jason Cottingham says.

“Fire service levels will align with the fire service bylaw and ensure appropriate levels of fire services for Big Lakes County and the other jurisdictions we serve through agreements.”

Council discussed the proposed policy at its regular meeting May 26 after firefighters reviewed it.

“This is something that’s needed, something we expect our fire department to do,” Reeve Ken Matthews says.

Cottingham says the last levels of service were drafted in 2006 and are part of the current set of standard operating guidelines.”

However, no formalized levels-of-service policy was presented to council for approval, he notes.

Levels of service include:

  1. Firefighting: the fire service shall provide initial responses at the technician level to structure, vehicle, industrial and aircraft fires only when the incident commander deems it safe to do so.
    If the incident is beyond the scope of the service level indicated or the resources readily available, then the incident commander will request assistance.
    Rescue: the fire service shall provide initial responses at the technician level to vehicle, water, ice, aircraft, low-angle and farm rescue only when the incident commander deems it safe to do so.
    If the incident is beyond the scope of the service level indicated or the resources readily available, then the incident commander will request assistance.
  2. Medical: the fire service shall provide first responder medical care and services as outlined in the medical first responder agreement.
  3. Dangerous Goods: the fire service will provide an initial response at the operations level.
    If the incident is beyond the scope of the service level indicated or the resources readily available, then the incident commander will request assistance.
  4. Wildland: the fire service will provide technician level for wildland fires.
    The fire service will provide operations level for structure protection.
  5. Disaster Services: in the event there has been a declaration of a state of local emergency, the fire service will act as per the emergency response plan under the direction of the director of emergency management.
  6. Mutual Aid Agreements: the fire service will respond with the appropriate resources to meet the objectives of the agreement.
    If the incident is beyond the scope of the service level indicated or the resources readily available, then the incident commander will request assistance.
  7. Other service levels: the fire service will respond to all other incidents not listed above at the awareness level.

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