City of Rossland announces fire services task force

The City of Rossland has announced that it will form a Fire Service and Emergency Services Review Task Force.

After expressing concerns regarding the district’s expenditures on fire services, the City of Rossland has announced that it will form a Fire Service and Emergency Services Review Task Force.

The purpose of the new task force is “to review the existing structure, and research other models for fire and emergency services delivered to the City of Rossland,” in order to find a more affordable, but equally effective model.

“They’re going to be researching the way other municipalities provide the service and find if there are savings,” said Mayor Kathy Moore. “I pretty much believe that whatever it is you’re doing, there’s probably a way to do it more efficiently, and not everybody has all the answers, right? So you go and you look, and see what other people are doing and you learn from best practices elsewhere, and that’s what I’m hoping will come from this.”

The task force will include five members of the public with experience in fire or emergency services, as well as one city staff member and Councillor Lloyd McLellan, who is also the city’s representative to the district.

The city last raised concerns when the Regional District of Koontenay Boundary’s (RDKB) East End Services Committee voted to create a firefighter training position in June, adding to what the city already considered to be a high bill.

The RDKB’s 2015 budget allocated $3,253,000, or 17 per cent, of property tax requisitions to Kootenay Regional Fire Rescue, $511,000 of which was to be contributed by Rossland.

Those interested in joining the task force can apply by sending a written statement of interest to City Hall at 1899 Columbia Ave., Rossland, BC, V0G 1Y0 or to cityhall@rossland.ca.

The task force is expected to present a report to council by July 31, 2016 and the mayor hopes there will then be suggestions the city can take to the RDKB.