Rosemère, March 7, 2016 – The towns of Rosemère and Blainville ratified a 20-year fire protection agreement according to which Rosemère now becomes part of the territory served by the Blainville Fire Department. Effective immediately, this agreement complies with all standards and laws applicable to fire protection, including the Fire Safety Cover Plan. Should an emergency arise, citizens are to continue calling 911 for help from firefighters.
This agreement between the two municipalities ensures the presence of firefighters at the fire station 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As a result, firefighters’ response time is improved and the safety of citizens is enhanced. It should be noted that the Rosemère Fire Department operated on a part-time basis, which is to say that 50% of the time, firefighters were on call but not present at the fire station.
The services provided by Blainville fire stations are accessible to Rosemère residents immediately. This holds true for every facet of fire safety: intervention in the event of a disaster, prevention and public education, inspection, etc.
"With this agreement, Rosemerites benefit from full-time services at a much better cost. During the period covered by this agreement, citizens will enjoy significant savings. In taking this decision, we had the best interests of the taxpayers at heart, in terms of both safety and cost efficiency. This is a highly beneficial agreement,” stated Rosemère Mayor Madeleine Leduc.
Over the 20-year period covered by this agreement, Rosemerites will save some $30 million. In fact, Rosemère’s financial contribution will be in the order of $525,500 in 2016, $675,250 in 2017, and $798,775 in 2018. As of 2019 and until the final year of this agreement, Rosemère’s financial contribution will amount to that of the previous year plus a 3.5% increase. It should be noted that the Rosemère Fire Department’s operating budget for 2016 was approximately $2.1 million.
Closing of the Fire Department
With the signing of this agreement with Blainville, the Town of Rosemère immediately brings the activities of its fire department to an end. Termination of employment terms for all firefighters have been established. "This decision was not taken lightly. I wish to thank all the firefighters who have ensured the safety of Rosemerites over the years and salute their fine work. This difficult decision was necessary, since Rosemère no longer had the financial means to operate its own fire department,” stated Rosemère’s mayor.
This measure echoes the analysis conducted in 2015 by the strategic working committee established by the Town to study the costs and performance of all municipal departments with an eye to optimizing the budget. This working committee was mentioned in the speech on the 2015 budget.
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Source: Town of Rosemère
For information: Daniel Grenier
Director Communications, Public Affairs and Citizen Relations
Tel.: 450 621-3500, ext. 1243 or 514-917-3507
ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS
Please note that, in the event of an emergency, you must dial 911 as usual.
When did this agreement go into effect? And what should a citizen do in an emergency?
Answer: In an emergency requiring the services of the fire department, simply dial 911 as usual, for immediate assistance.
This agreement with the Town of Blainville has been in effect since March 7, 2016 and complies with all Québec laws and standards relating to fire protection.
Therefore, services provided by the Blainville fire stations are immediately available to Rosemère residents. This holds true for every facet of fire safety: intervention in the event of a disaster, prevention and public education, inspection, etc.
Why abolish the Rosemère Fire Department?
With this agreement, Rosemerites are guaranteed the presence of firefighters at the fire station 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is important to note that the Rosemère Fire Department operated on a part-time on-call basis. This meant that 50% of the time, firefighters were on call, but not present at the fire station.
This agreement will not only improve firefighters’ response time and the safety of citizens, but will achieve significant savings as well.
In fact, over the next 20 years, this agreement will save Rosemerites approximately $30 million. Given an economic context that makes it imperative that we not increase the tax burden on current and future generations of taxpayers, this agreement is beneficial in every regard.
This measure echoes an analysis conducted in 2015 by the strategic working committee established by the Town to study the costs and performance of all municipal departments with an eye to optimizing the budget. This working committee was mentioned in the speech on the 2015 budget.
How does the agreement guarantee citizens greater quality of service?
Rosemère citizens can now rely on full-time firefighters (previously part-time) ready to intervene 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This is specified in the agreement.
Rosemerites will enjoy more services at a much lower cost.
Will Blainville firefighters be required to cover a much greater distance to intervene in Rosemère? Couldn’t this compromise the safety of citizens?
The Town of Blainville’s southern fire station is located on Bas-de-Sainte-Thérèse Road, less than one kilometre from the Rosemère boundary and close to many road and highway accesses. Firefighters’ response time will therefore not be affected.
In fact, with firefighters present at the fire station 24/7, response time will be shortened and the safety of citizens improved.
Moreover, Rosemerites will benefit from faster intervention time at night, at times when, according to statistics provided by the Québec Ministry of Public Security, there is a greater loss of life.
Are there enough Blainville firefighters to ensure the protection of 2 territories?
Yes, there are enough. The Town of Blainville has two fire stations with firefighters on the premises 24/7.
This agreement strictly complies with government requirements in terms of fire safety coverage.
What will happen to Rosemère firefighters?
The Town of Rosemère wants it known that this was a very difficult decision to make, given its consequences on the personnel affected. Noting the professionalism with which they have ensured the safety of our community over the years, it wishes to express its profound gratitude for their commitment.
Termination of employment terms have been established for all firefighters.
For a great many of the firefighters, the Rosemère Fire Department was a second job.
This decision was needed, as Rosemère no longer has the financial means to operate its own fire department. It was in the best interests of citizens.
What will happen to our fire station equipment?
The equipment will be sold, in compliance with the Cities and Towns Act. As for the fire station itself, the Town will evaluate its in-house requirements in terms of premises.