Friday, June 14, 2024

New agreement could mean quicker emergency response times for Saanich Peninsula residents

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This February, Sidney, North Saanich, and Central Saanich Fire Departments agreed to continue a long standing tradition of supporting one another in emergencies to increase response capacity.

The three municipalities have opted to replace a mutual aid agreement with two collaborative emergency services agreements, separating Peninsula Emergency Measures Operations (PEMO) from the agreement for fire response.

The new approach allows each agreement to be better tailored to its purpose and reflect current best practices for governance, liability, and administration. 

“Collaborating with our colleagues in Central Saanich and in Sidney benefits us all,” said North Saanich Fire Chief John Trelford. 

“We are pleased to continue to work alongside our neighbours to respond to emergencies on the Peninsula in the most efficient manner.”

The new PEMO agreement formalizes many aspects of emergency planning, with specific functions assigned to each municipality and annual reports to the council.

“This update will enhance our preparation and response on the Peninsula,” said Central Saanich Deputy Fire Chief Stacey Lee. “The improved governance, oversight, and liability protection will better serve the residents of Central Saanich and our neighbours to the North.”

The two new agreements will be in place until December 31st, 2027 and will be overseen by the Emergency Services Committee composed of Fire Chiefs and Chief Administrative Officers from each Peninsula municipality.

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