BY CRAIG GILBERT
Emergency service providers in Greater Sudbury and around Northern Ontario can breathe a sigh of relief.
ALERTech, the city?s $1.4 million, year-old emergency services training facility is out of peril after a meeting between its executive, city officials and councillors.
The meeting was very positive, said ALERTech president and board chair John Braney.
There will be a contract for training from the city. Firefighters from other Ontario communities also train at the centre.
ALERTech is located at the Lionel E. Lalonde Centre (the former Trillium Centre) in Azilda. The facility was opened last summer.
The service provided by ALERTech is vital to the 400 or so firefighters in Greater Sudbury and the citizens they protect, according to Volunteer Firefighters Association chair Claude Daoust.
During budget deliberations, council voted down options that would have provided four, six and eight additional days respectively of hands-on training for career firefighters.
In addition, a presentation to the finance committee a few weeks ago asking for $50,000 for training at the centre was turned down.
When that happened, concern over the closure of ALERTech, described by Braney and others as the best emergency services training facility in Ontario, was raised.
Councillors were concerned about how silly they would look closing a facility that opened less than a year ago. They would have had some explaining to do to community partners Falconbridge Ltd. and Cambrian College as well.
Insurance costs, which have shot up from $7,000 to $21,000, in combination with the loss business from the city had Braney worried for a bit.