With all the concern and carry on about Kitchener and Waterloo merging, people have suddenly forgotten about any Regional merging. So it’s time for some “Did you know?”
Did you know that there are Deputy and Regional Fire Coordinators? Each municipal term, Regional council appoints Fire Coordinators. Since 1992, the position of Regional Fire Coordinator has rotated each term among the Fire Chiefs of the various cities. This term, the Waterloo Fire Chief was the Regional Fire Coordinator and the Kitchener and Cambridge Chiefs were the Deputies. However, Chief deHooge has moved to be chief of Ottawa, so Chief Tim Beckett has taken over as Coordinator.
The Waterloo Regional Fire Coordinator plays an important role under the Emergency Plan and is a member of the Regional Emergency Control Group and the Regional Emergency Planning Advisory Committee.
Another Regional request also came up at Tuesday’s meeting. As reported at the All Council Meeting, Fire, Police and Ambulance have been looking into improving emergency dispatch. EMS is presently run by the province and we are hoping they will soon come to the table.The issue? Should Waterloo Region have one emergency dispatch. It makes sense. Right now, 911 calls have to go through various layers to get to the proper police, ambulance or fire dispatch. Council passed the recommendation of the Dispatch Model Working Group that the Fire dispatch of the cities be consolidated into one Fire Communications Centre co-located with the Police Communications Centre and that the Ambulance Communications Centre be co-located in the same facility. Enhanced Technology would also help dispatch.
Here is why the dispatches must be co-located.
Unfortunately, due to the extreme sensitivity of personal information stored in/and or accessed by the Police CAD, Federal law prohibits interconnection of Police CADs with other remotely located systems capable of accessing the Police CAD. Even if a common single CAD was acquired for useby all three agencies, a similar restriction would apply unless the centres were co-located.
Cambridge voted against this. Do I need to say more on whether any amalgamation will come to be?
Here’s the link for the report