Letter: Fire response raises questions

Slightly more than a week ago, I was involved in a minor incident at the Deep River Community Pool which I would like to share; specifically, the fire alarms sounded shortly after the “Early Bird” swimmers had finished their swim and cleared the pool.

My first thought, (being used to the CNL response to a fire alarm) was that it would be less than three minutes, possibly less than two before several members of a “fire suppression team” would come thundering through the door!

We cleared the building as quickly as possible.

While the head lifeguard ensured we were all accounted for, we waited in the parking lot for the Deep River fire teams to arrive.

As it turned out, the alarm had not occurred within the normal operating hours of the Deep River fire department, so the response was a bit longer than my initial estimate; I also suspect he would have needed our help to perform any fire suppressing.

Happily, there was no fire, just a troublesome alarm system having “a spell.”

This incident has prompted some questions, however:

1. For reference, what are the normal operating hours of the Deep River Fire Department (DRFD)?

2. How much does the fire service cost the town of Deep River to maintain at current levels? (Presumably this would be one-quarter the cost of full-time coverage?)

3. I understand the town of Deep River has “mutual aid” agreements with neighbouring fire services; is it true that it must be the DRFD that requests the mutual aid, ONLY after all Deep River resources are deployed?

4. In the event of a house fire in the evening or weekend, are we entitled to legally use our neighbour’s garden hose (as well as our own) without permission, thus doubling the available fire suppression resources?

5. Has the possibility of merging with the Laurentian Hills fire service been considered, or do we wait until… (I leave it to the reader to fill that last bit in.)

Paul Leeson