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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tiered Response Scaled Back

Owen Sound | by Jonathon Jackson  

Council eliminates some of the calls firefighters respond to in Owen Sound.

Owen Sound council has scaled back full tiered response for the city's firefighters, much to their disappointment.

Council voted to accept a new model which will see firefighters responding to fewer medical emergencies.

Dave Cruickshank -- the President of the Owen Sound Professional Firefighters Association -- says they disagree with the city's assessment that certain medical calls do not warrant a full tiered response, but they'll live with the decision.

Actually, Cruickshank says the community will live with the decision, or perhaps not live with it -- a warning that someone may die because of the decision.

The majority of council voted to reduce the number of responses because they believe paramedics can handle all of the medical calls without the help of firefighters.

City/County Councillor Arlene Wright says she feels city firefighters must believe it too, since many of them live outside the city, where there is no tiered response available to them and their families.

But Councillor Jim McManaman voted against the motion -- saying he doesn't believe scaling back the response model will result in significant savings.

McManaman -- who is a firefighter -- points out that full tiered response was instituted many years ago to better utilize the city's resources, and now firefighters have significant training that they will not necessarily be able to use.


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