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Mayoral candidates asked about firefighting service in Beaver Lake

Community's volunteer firefighter complement has dropped from 11 to 3 since 2015

The Beaver Lake Fire Services Committee has some questions for the 11 candidates running to become mayor of Greater Sudbury.

The fire station in Beaver Lake has provided emergency and fire services to the Beaver Lake and Worthington communities at a volunteer service level for more than 40 years.

However, the number of volunteer firefighters at the station has dropped from 11 in 2015 to only three today.

A press release said the Beaver Lake fire station is the only one located along the Highway 17 West corridor, and covers an area stretching about 20 kilometres along the TransCanada Highway.

The community is also concerned that there are no firefighters available during the daytime hours from the Beaver Lake Fire Station, or the next closest, Whitefish Fire Station.

Last year the failed Optimization Plan aimed to replace volunteer firefighters with full time career firefighters and identified many code deficiencies and inefficiencies at several rural fire stations.

The plan recommended closing several fire stations that would have left many rural communities without adequate emergency and fire services coverage and would have meant huge tax hikes to the citizens of Sudbury. 

Fortunately, common sense prevailed, and the plan was not received by council, the press release said.

However, some rural fire stations are still grossly understaffed, and code deficiencies have not been addressed.

The committee has the following questions for the mayoral candidates:

1. What will you do to ensure the Beaver Lake Fire Station and other rural communities are provided with adequate fire and emergency services?

2. What will you do to ensure the Beaver Lake Fire Station is brought up to a full complement of volunteer and/or career firefighters?

3. What will you do to ensure the deficiencies identified at the Beaver Lake Fire Station and other rural fire stations, are brought up to code?