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Revelstoke city hall to review fire department service

The City of Revelstoke is seeking a consultant to conduct a review of the city's fire department.

The city outlined the review in a request for proposals posted on their website on Feb. 5.

"This review will report on the effectiveness and efficiency of the services provided by the Fire Department," it states. "The report will include options of service delivery for council’s consideration. Recommendations on means to improve the overall effectiveness of services in a cost effective manner is sought."

City chief administrative officer Tim Palmer said the city had planned "an independent, third-party operations review" of at least one city program in 2013. Council decided to review the fire program during an in camera meeting.

"They're looking for the effectiveness of the services we provide. Are we providing them in an efficient manner? We are looking for opportunities for a third party to come in and say, 'Is there a better way?' and to look at the pros and cons of possible changes," Palmer told the Times Review.

The request for proposals calls for several specific items to be reviewed. They include:

— A comparison to service delivery models in similar cities.

— A review of fire department instruction and procedures for effectiveness and efficiency.

— A comparison of the pros and cons of other service delivery models.

— A review of 24-hour shifts.

— A look at the effectiveness of a "paid on call" model.

— An exploration of options for utilizing volunteer firefighters more effectively.

— An exploration of reduced service levels.

— A review of the appropriateness of firefighting equipment and their replacement plans

The review will also explore the impact the city's Fire Underwriters Survey (FUS) rating has on insurance premiums. Municipalities are assigned a FUS rating based on their firefighting capabilities and other factors. This rating is used to determine fire insurance rates. When the city agreed to purchase their latest fire truck, the FUS rating was used as a partial justification; the fire department argued a better truck would contribute to a better FUS rating, collectively offsetting the cost of the truck to taxpayers through reduced insurance rates for properties across the city. The review seeks to quantify the effect of the FUS rating.

Once the report is completed, the consultant will present the report to city council.

The application deadline for the contract is Feb. 26. Read the request for proposals here.

 

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