North Stormont Fire Services looking to upgrade communication system

North Stormont Fire Services looking to upgrade communication system
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BERWICK — North Stormont Fire Services is in the early stages of looking at how to upgrade its aging communication system.

It’s been having discussions with neighbouring municipalities, including Prescott-Russell— an approach that makes sense to North Stormont Mayor Jim Wert.

“Talking to other municipalities about how to address it is (a good idea),” Wert said. “It’s an old communication system and we’re losing calls in the area.”

The township moved to Cornwall dispatch about a year-and-a-half ago, but the mayor said “it’s no reflection on Cornwall whatsoever– it’s just the technology we have in the area.

“Especially for 9-1-1 responses, communication is critical.”

With elections held in the fall and a new council sworn in only recently, there’s lots on the plates of local politicians, and upgrading communication for fire services is a work-in-progress.

“It’s the talking stages, there’s nothing settled (on how to address the problem),” fire chief Dan Gauvin said. ‘”The infrastructure in our municipality has to be updated, (and) we’re looking at options right now. . . (Prescott-Russell is) our neighbouring municipality, it makes sense to talk to them.”

Gauvin made it clear it’s an infrastructure issue.

“We have our own communication system, (and) dispatching is out of Cornwall – that’s where it’s staying,” Gauvin said.

In other news regarding North Stormont Fire Services, an open house event recently at Station 4 (Moose Creek) was a huge success, a well-attended public event aimed at raising awareness and highlighting the importance of fire prevention.

Gauvin said the event gave families and businesses the chance to meet their local firefighters, and tour the station.

The service, which responded to nine calls in November, has ongoing recruitment efforts, and three candidates recently passed the interviews to move on to physical scenarios.

The physical component had a date change due to the holidays, and will now be held on Jan. 15 at Station No. 3 (Finch).

North Stormont Fire Services is staffed by part-time, paid-on-call firefighters, divided between stations in Avonmore, Crysler, Finch and Moose Creek.

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