Council OKs fire agreement

Fire department will participate in a new Fire Service Agreement with Saanich, Esquimalt, View Royal and Central Saanich

Oak Bay council authorized its staff to participate in a new Fire Service Agreement with Saanich, Esquimalt, View Royal and Central Saanich to “enhance the level of life safety and property protection available to citizens in the participating jurisdictions.”

The departments share many service delivery and operational commonalities, including shared fire dispatch services, common and interoperable radio communications platforms, compatible operational policies and guidelines, joint training and exercising, and a willingness to work co-operatively with each other to provide cost-efficient fire services to their respective residents.

Coun. Eric Zhelka noted Victoria conspicuously absent from the agreement.

“We’ve been working diligently with the City of Victoria to work toward a mutual aid agreement … at this point in time there are some considerable barriers to bring the City of Victoria on,” said Cockle. “We’re currently working with them to overcome those pieces.”

The agreement is complimentary and does not restrict participation in any other fire service, mutual aid, automatic aid or memorandum of understanding with another party. The five-year agreement is designed to automatically renew for a second five years.

“We can continue to work with the core area fire agreement we’ve been working on,” said Cockle.