Money to burn

The Firemen in Hants County want more money. Well, of course, who doesn’t. Everyone wants more money. But the Fire Dept. isn’t used, it seems, to being turned down.

Fire chiefs from Walton, Windsor, Brooklyn, Summerville and Hantsport say that while the cost of running the service has gone up, funding from the Municipality of West Hants has not. They recently wrote a joint letter to the municipal council, asking for more money to cover expenses….

“The funding that the municipality is providing just isn’t keeping up with the levels we need to purchase this equipment that’s needed both for the safety of the firefighters and the safety of the public.”

Maynard says based on the volume of calls from the Municipality of the District of West Hants, he believes the municipality should increase its contribution to the department by $40,000 each year.

More calls, more money. Fewer calls, less money. Hmmm.

$40,000 INCREASE each year. Wow.

Hants County also includes the Municipality of East Hants, the Town of Hantsport and the Town of Windsor. Maynard said funding the departments receive from the other municipalities they serve is adequate.

Seems only one municipality in four is watching their pennies. We know Wolfville’s CAO doesn’t blink an eye. New firetruck? New equipment? No problem and he signs the cheque.

Gary Cochrane, Municipality of West Hants deputy warden, said many of the municipal councillors were offended by the fire chiefs’ recent letter.

“I just felt the timing was very poor…[that they felt] we weren’t doing very much for them,” Cochrane said. “But I think, given the dollars we have to work with, I thought we were doing a pretty good job.” [link]

You probably are, Gary. You probably are. But Firefighters … They can do no wrong. Maybe the answer is to reduce the number of fire calls instead, eh? Or, maybe residents who have a fire should help pay for the call- sort of like people pay for ambulance calls. Ditto for rescue calls and hazmat. Just a thought.

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