Thursday, December 15, 2005

Publish Day - Ink Blog - Fire!

Today's column is all about priorities. Or the fact that sometimes it seems as if government doesn't know how to set them.

London's north end has grown so fast in recent years that fire protection services have not kept pace. Response times up here - yup, I'm a northerner, too - are well below provincial averages, and firefighters have been raising the alarm for years.

The city has studied the issue for as long as we've lived here, but shows no signs of actually moving ahead with building a new fire hall.

Sure, it's a seemingly trivial local issue. But it ceases to be trivial when the safety of your family is at stake. I thought lighting a little fire of my own might help matters along.
Fire hall delays put people at risk
Published Thursday, December 15, 2005
The London Free Press

Our city is playing with fire.

While London’s north end experiences tremendous growth, the city has failed to provide adequate emergency services to the area. Consequently, wait times there are dangerously elevated.

It’s old news that the area needs a new fire hall. While we all appreciate the city’s diligence in pursuing the lowest-cost solution – namely, a temporary house-style facility on Trossacks Avenue – numerous delays are raising the temperature for residents who must live with the additional risk.

Ideally, critical emergency services should anticipate urban growth – not lag far behind. It’s time to take the money budgeted for a full-sized fire hall on Fanshawe Park Road and just build it.

The province has announced that as of March 1st, 2006, all homes must have at least one working smoke alarm on each floor.

If you live in north London, you might want to go smoke-alarm shopping a little early, since you’ll need all the additional protection you can get.



dena said...

In our city it's always been build, build, build and then think about the roads.

surcie said...

Where I live, suburban sprawl continues without much thought (it seems) as to whether the infrastructure can support it. I guess that's typical in much of the US.

Russ said...

Hey Carmi, what's going on with you? Caught you on Micheles...
Fire protection is a huge deal (thats the business I'm in) and it isn't cheap. The average Class A pumper truck runs anywhere from $300K to as much as $600K USD. Then the station needs a Heavy Rescue ($400K), maybe a ladder truck ($750K) and a quick attack truck ($200K) then the Command vehicle ($150K). Now start adding up the hoses, bunker gear, rescue tools, radios, ropes, ladders, etc, etc. and you can easily add another $500K. And all that before you even think about a building and property and the (horribly low) firefighter salaries.
Sadly, these are the budgets that are first on the chopping block.
Next time you see a fire truck rolling towards a fire or accident give those boys a wave and smile... their gonna need it.
Daunting task.

JoeC said...

Hello, Michele sent me. time for downtime and relax for the rest of the week. Have a nice and warm weekend then. Cheers!

Yep, fast growth is a risk as well, there is always lack of review over safety and such.

Sandy said...

Gosh how frightening.

I shudder to think how unprepared our area is.

ribbiticus said...

way to go, carmi! hope that lit a fire under the local government's butt! fire prevention and containment should be one of the top priorities as we know all too well how much destruction and devastation it can bring about.

Dak-Ind said...

michele sent me this time... my older son's father was a firefighter, and i totally know how thinly they can be stretched. the longer response times mean more than just victims lives are at risk. the firefighters have to take more risks as well. its a frightening thing!