It’s time to enter a Public Education and Fire Prevention Policy into the books
Callander’s municipal staff are drafting a by-law to adopt a Public Education and Fire Prevention Policy. The draft should be ready for the council’s consideration at the next council meeting.
The Fire Protection and Prevention Act of 1997 regulates fire services, and the Act demands fire departments establish programs to educate the public about fire prevention. Adopting a policy will “give staff clear direction on how the Municipality meets the legislated requirements,” staff explained.
Fire education has always taken place in the municipality, but currently, no formal policy exists. The fire department will continue to provide inspections, operate public education events like Sirens in the Park, visit schools to teach the kids, and pursue other opportunities to inform the public.
“Callander Fire & Emergency Services (CFED) is committed to safely protecting life, property, and the environment through the skilled and continued delivery of Public Education, Fire Prevention, and Emergency Response,” said Fire Chief Todd Daley, in a report to council .
He noted that department members also provide tours of the fire station to local groups such as Girl Guides and Cub Scouts to help spread the word. As for the inspections, fire service members will conduct inspections upon request to ensure smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are in tip-top shape at one’s residence.
Formalizing this outreach work will “improve transparency and hold the Department accountable for service delivery standards,” staff noted. The policy will cover all of the educational outreach programs and will also address open-air burning, liquor license approvals, special occasion permits, fire cause determination, and record keeping.
The policy will also detail best practices for using social media to advocate fire safety, and outline ways to develop and distribute educational materials.
There is so much to teach, and soon enough, these practices will become formal policies.
David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.