Listed below are some key points regarding Fire and Fire services costs in Midland. We thought this information would be timely given the fact that Fire continues to spend in excess of the allocated budget and a collective agreement for Fire personnel is currently being negotiated. Residents of Midland simply have no further “ability to pay” and Midlandcommunity.ca is calling for restraint and a change to the current service delivery model. Midland Fire spending has increased 140% from 2002 to 2012, approximately 5 times the rate of inflation. With Midland rapidly heading towards 52% of its population over 65 years of age and on a fixed income, having the lowest average household income in Simcoe County, having a growth rate at 0.5% or less per annum, can Midland sustain the current Fire Service model? Take a look at the facts below, form your own opinion and then let your representatives on Council know what you think. Additionally, please plan to attend the second draft budget meeting scheduled for 6 PM in the Town Council chambers on Thursday, October 17. Hope to see you there !
With elections just one year away, it is time for everyone’s voice to be heard.
Finally, Roy Ellis was recently a guest on “Politically Speaking“, so be sure to tune in to this relevant and timely discussion on issues affecting our Town. The show will broadcast today (10th) at 2:00pm and 10:00pm and on Friday the 11th, at 10:00am and 1:00pm.
- Midland spends more per resident to operate its Fire Department than Toronto does. Is this is a reasonable way to allocate Midland’s more modest resources?
- The death rate from fires in Ontario fell from 30.9 per million in 1980 to 6.7 per million by 2011, a 78% reduction. The main reason: introducing inexpensive smoke detectors in our homes. The death rate from unintentional fires with a working smoke detector is now 2.2 per million.
- Of all fire deaths today, 25% are intentional – arson, homicide or suicide; over half of the remainder occur when there is no working smoke alarm.
- Almost half of all fire deaths occur between 10 pm and 6 am; careless smoking causes 20% of all fatal fires; alcohol is a significant factor in many fatalities.
- The reason smoke detectors are so effective is they warn occupants about fire and allow them to escape long before a fire department can intervene. We are 20 times more likely to be killed in a car crash than an accidental fire with a working smoke detector. We are 137 times more likely to be injured in a car crash.
- Although casualties from fires have plummeted, the amount Midland spends on its Fire Department has increased much more than for other services.
- Midland’s spending for Fire increased 140% from 2002 to 2012 – from $1.2 Million to $2.9 Million. At the same time Midland’s combined spending for all other services increased 63%.
- There is less than one fire a month in a structure in Midland – a total of just four to the end of August this year. Midland Fire also chooses to attend a huge number of non-fire calls. Including all of them, Fire still attends less than one call every eight hours.
- There is no evidence that a high number of Fire responders to medical emergencies achieves significant results. Aside from needed Jaws of Life extrication training, Fire personnel possess only basic first aid skills. Most true emergencies require patient transport to hospital immediately, something they do not do.
- There is no significant difference in casualty rates whether a community employs full-time firefighters or part-time ‘volunteers’. It is smoke detectors and not firefighters that dramatically reduce casualties.
- Midland can conserve resources by doing what many other municipalities do – operating a fire service that relies more on paid part-time firefighters. So-called ‘volunteer’ fire services achieve equivalent results to full-time ones at significantly reduced cost.