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Canada Calgary's fire chief warns future cuts will impact response times

19:23  11 december  2017
19:23  11 december  2017 Source:   metronews.ca

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times Calgary ' s fire chief is sending out a warning about cuts to the department's budget, and what it could mean for response times in the city. Chief Steve million budget, will not impact front line services this year, but he added that the cuts can't continue."This is the third or fourth round of

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Chief Steve Dongworth of the Calgary Fire Department says his crews will stomach its most recent budget cut, but more cuts next year will mean service reductions and longer response times.: Calgary's fire chief warns future cuts will impact response times© Helen Pike / Metro Calgary's fire chief warns future cuts will impact response times

Calgary's fire chief is sending out a warning about cuts to the department's budget, and what it could mean for response times in the city.

Chief Steve Dongworth said the cuts to the Calgary Fire Department (CFD), which ended up totaling about $4.5 million from the force's $236 million budget, will not impact front line services this year, but he added that the cuts can't continue.

"This is the third or fourth round of reductions we've seen in this (4-year budget) cycle," said Dongworth. "I don't believe we can reduce our budget any more without serious impacts to our frontline services and impacts to our public safety."

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times Calgary ' s fire chief is sending out a warning about cuts to the department's budget, and what it could mean for response times in the city. Chief Steve million budget, will not impact front line services this year, but he added that the cuts can't continue."This is the third or fourth round of

UK government cuts to fire services across the country have hampered their response to Storm Desmond and further spending reductions could "undermine" how the services react to future emergencies, the FBU has warned .

The cuts came in the same budget where the Calgary Police Service received at $14.3 million boost to hire new staff and purchase body-worn cameras.

Dongworth said the force is going about the cuts this year in such a way that they don't impact response time or front line services, and with "minimal" impact to staff.

The chief noted that CFD has seen its calls for service spike 12.5 per cent this year. He attributes that primarily to the increase in opioid-related calls members have had to respond to in the wake of the fentanyl crisis.

Coun. Shane Keating said a review of fire response times is coming up at council. He noted that the province's ambulance service has much higher target response times of about 12 minutes.

He said council needs to look seriously at whether fire should be responding to medical calls.

"Are we actually funding – at great operational expense – something where the province has a 12 minute response time, and are we artificially increasing the province's response time?"

Crews battle multiple-alarm fire at Burlington warehouse .
Firefighters are battling a multiple-alarm fire at a meat processing plant in Burlington, near the Queen Elizabeth Way and Appleby Line.No fire crews have yet been able to go inside and are fighting from outside the building, according to the Burlington fire department.

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