The City of Campbell River has extended an agreement that will see our fire department continue to provide services in neighbouring communities as far away as Fanny Bay should they be requested to do so.
The idea of a mutual aid agreement first came about in 2008, when council approved having the fire chief begin discussions with the Comox Valley Fire Rescue Services, which led to an agreement with that community for a five-year term in 2013.
“The increasing complexity of emergency response services create challenges for any one jurisdiction to be able to provide adequate resources for every possible potential emergency they may face within their jurisdiction,” says the staff report recommending the renewal of the agreement for another five years. “Mutual aid agreements also provide backup protection when local resources are committed to an emergency and subsequent emergency incidents occur.”
Although the community requesting the additional services does have to pay the department providing them, the report says, that cost is much less than the proposition of not having access to those services should they be required.
When asked at council this week about how the Mutual Aid Agreement has been implemented in the past, incoming fire chief Thomas Doherty told council that “there are maybe one or two incidents a year,” where services are requested by a neighbouring community.
The CRFire Department also has a similar, separate agreement in place with BC Wildfire.