Calgary Fire Department
What is happening?
After 5 months of research in 2020, I submitted to the council a document that contained an independent survey painting a very grim picture responding to the lack of funding and growth of our fire department. That survey showed how the city council has been putting [at risk] the lives of Calgarians and our firefighters by inadequately financing our city’s fire department
Cutbacks and reduced financial support have placed immense pressure and stress on senior and junior management within the Department. The message given to our fire chief from the council was —“do more with less”.
The council should be adequately funding the fire department, one of our primary emergency services. Consider this; with the council approving a multitude of new community developments, one would hope that they would have also approved the fire department’s expansion by providing our chief with a reasonable budget. Unfortunately, that has not been the case for a number of years.
What should be happening?
How are we going to make that happen?
I fully understand and recognize the primary function of leadership is to protect life and property. If you elect me as your new mayor I will guide the council along the lines of increasing financial support to both fire and police programs in order to protect citizens and their property better than our current governance.
I would like the council to consider continuing the fire department’s 24-hour shift rotation system presently in place due to COVID. (The reasons for this are stated in the submission document that was given to the council last year). However, in a position of leadership, you have to be well informed and know all facts before making an informed decision. At the moment I do not have all the data from the past 12 months about the 24-hour shift system and how it has been received by firefighters and management.
I fully appreciate running a 24-hour shift in a busy station such as 1, 2 and 12 can be exhausting for some firefighters who may have preferred 14-hour shifts. All this being said, our Fire Chief and his team will be invited to give a detailed presentation on the successes and failures of the 24-hour system, then the new mayor and council can seriously consider the Chief’s recommendations on this subject.