MNBP SPECIAL Council Meeting Minutes October 10, 2023 – Fire Chief Presents Fire Services and Emergency Management

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Members Present: Mayor – Milt McIver, Deputy Mayor – Rod Anderson, Councillor – Todd Dowd, Councillor – Laurie (Smokey) Golden, Councillor – Aman Sohrab 

Staff Present: Chief Administrative Officer – Peggy Van Mierlo-West, Clerk – Cathy Addison, Committee/Licensing Coordinator – Lindsay Forbes, Fire Chief – Jack Burt 

Note: Members of Council and staff were present in the Municipal Office Council Chamber and the meeting was held via zoom, an electronic platform, for members of the public to view.

Call to Order and Disclosure of Pecuniary Interest and the General Nature Thereof

Mayor McIver called the meeting to order at 10:30 a.m. and Council members were reminded to disclose any pecuniary interest and the general nature thereof that may arise during the meeting.

Approval of the Agenda

#25-01-2023

Moved by Councillor Todd Dowd, Seconded by Councillor Aman Sohrab

That the content of the agenda be approved as presented.

Carried

Consideration of Agenda Items

1. Fire Chief, Jack Burt

Re: Emergency Management Workshop Presentation

Fire Chief, Jack Burt, appeared in person at the October 10, 2023, Special Council Meeting. 

Council received a presentation from Fire Chief, Jack Burt, regarding Fire Services and Emergency Management.

The following topics were covered with regard to Fire Services: 

· Fire Protection and Prevention Act requirements for Municipalities 

· Establishing and Regulating Bylaws (E&R Bylaw)

· Identifying levels of service

· Staff positions

· Firefighter Certifications

Discussion ensued regarding the status of mandated firefighter certifications within the Northern Bruce Peninsula Fire Department.

It was noted that 13 of 22 volunteer firefighters wrote their Firefighter Level 1 certification test in September 2023. 

Discussion ensued regarding the timeline associated with the mandated certifications as well as the time commitment required by the volunteer firefighters to achieve such certifications. 

It was noted that the new legislation requires new recruits to be completely certified 3 years following their recruitment to any fire department within Ontario.

Discussion ensued regarding means of identifying uncertified firefighters at a scene. 

It was noted that the utilization of different coloured helmets is being considered as an efficient means to identify certified firefighters at scenes.

Discussion ensued regarding means of incentivizing volunteer firefighter due to the increased time commitments associated with achieving certifications in addition to regular training.

Discussion ensued regarding the budget for the Northern Bruce Peninsula Fire Department. 

It was noted that the Municipality should look for financial partners to aid in providing the essential service, as the Northern Bruce Peninsula Fire Department responds to calls throughout the National and Provincial Parks located within the Municipality. 

It was noted that the Fire Department’s fleet is approaching the 20 year cycle for truck replacement. 

It was noted that a Special Council Meeting will be scheduled regarding By-law 2016-15, Establish and Regulate a Fire Department.

Discussion ensued regarding the benefits and challenges associated with conducting the mandated certification training at a regional training facility vs internally.

Discussion ensued regarding recruitment of additional volunteer firefighters regarding the mandated certifications.

Fire Chief, Jack Burt, continued the workshop and presented an overview of administrative provisions and municipal requirements associated with Emergency Management.

An overview of the five components of Comprehensive Emergency Management were presented as follows: 

· Prevention 

· Mitigation

· Preparedness

· Response 

· Recovery

An overview of the associated required positions, required documents and annual requirements for a Municipal Emergency Management Program (EMPC) was presented to Council. 

An overview of the responsibilities associated with the EMPC was presented to Council. 

It was noted that the Committee sets the objectives and strategy of the Emergency Management program within the Municipality. 

The core elements of preparedness were noted as follows:

· Emergency Plans

· Emergency OPS Centre

· Training

· Exercises

· Emergency Information

· Public Awareness & Public Education

It was noted that there are five knowledge areas that Municipal Emergency Control Group (MECG) members must demonstrate knowledge in annually:

· Emergency Response Plan

· Critical Infrastructure & Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment

· MECG Activation and Emergency Operations Centre operation procedures

· Notification procedures for MECG members

· EOC location and technological supports and operation

The role of the Emergency Information Officer (EIO) was noted as follows:

· Writes and issue press releases

· Responds to media and public inquiries 

· Monitors media reports, report on rumors and inaccuracies 

· Coordinates Emergency Information with all responding agencies 

· Monitors and responds to social media

It was noted that the Head of Council, designated member(s) of Council and the Premier, have the ability to declare an emergency within the Municipality.

The benefits and implications of declaring an emergency were noted as follows:

· Provides exceptional means to deal with exceptional situations

o Provisions under the Municipality’s EM plan, by-laws or other EM related legation.

· May open the way to additional resources

o Supplies

o Services

· Protects volunteers

· Draws public attention to emergency information

Council’s role in recovery concerning short-term and long-term recovery were noted as follows:

-Short-term Recovery:

· Disseminate approved messaging regarding disaster relief funding.

· Attend community events pertaining to the disaster.

· Provide a resolution of council requesting the activation of the Municipal Disaster. Recovery Assistance Program.

-Long term:

· Consider the recommendations that may arise from an After-Action Report.

· Consider maintaining insurance coverage and/or a reserve to address disasters. 

Discussion ensued regarding the composition of the Emergency Management Program Committee and the Emergency Control Group. 

It was noted that the Emergency Information Officer is Clerk, Cathy Addison.

It was requested that Council received more frequent training sessions regarding the information contained within the Emergency Management Plans.

It was noted that communication to the public should be a topic highlighted within the requested training sessions to ensure that members of Council are effectively providing information to the public.

Discussion ensued regarding emergency communication platforms retained by the Municipality.

It was noted increased advertisement of Municipality’s radio station, 103.7 the Tobermory Information Station, should be conducted to increase awareness of the emergency messaging platform.

It was noted that the coverage of the associated with 103.7 FM, the Tobermory Information Station, was expected to extend a range of 8km from the tower, however it’s coverage far exceeds this range.

It was noted that in the event of an emergency, the emergency messaging will be broadcast on Blackburn Media Inc’s radio stations to amplify coverage throughout the area.

Discussion ensued regarding federal resources for emergencies outside of the Municipal boundary, such as with the M.S. Chi Cheemaun during it’s crossing to Manitoulin Island.

#25-02-2023

Moved by Councillor Laurie (Smokey) Golden, Seconded by Deputy Mayor Rod Anderson

That the Emergency Management Workshop Presentation be received as information.

Carried

Other Business – Nil.

Reading of By-laws

By-Law No. 2023-87

Being A By-Law to Confirm the Proceedings of the Special Council Meeting of The Corporation of The Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula Held Tuesday, October 10, 2023

#25-03-2023

Moved by Councillor Aman Sohrab, Seconded by Councillor Todd Dowd

That the listed by-law be given 1st, 2nd, and 3rd reading, and enacted.

Carried

Closed Session – Nil.

Adjournment

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#25-04-2023

Moved by Councillor Aman Sohrab, Seconded by Deputy Mayor Rod Anderson

That the meeting adjourns at 11:36 a.m.

Carried

Mayor, Milt McIver

Clerk, Cathy Addison