Prince firefighters meet standards to perform interior attacks
The Sudbury Star
The Prince Township Volunteer Fire Department has reached a goal two years in the making.
At council’s regular December meeting, Fire Chief Steve Hemsworth announced on Zoom that the firefighters’ intensive training, along with new equipment that met standards set by the National Fire Protection Association, will permit them to perform interior attacks on structure fires.
Such operations will not be routine, however, but instead will take place only under strict operating guidelines, Hemsworth said in his written report.

First, the level of risk must justify entry into the structure; and second, the structure must have retained its integrity. There must also be enough firefighters at the scene to support interior operations and adequate fire ground supervision.

Additionally, there must be a reliable, uninterrupted water supply.

Previously, the township’s fire department was limited to fighting structure fires from the exterior,  but Hemsworth said interior firefighting capability would be necessary if, for example, small children had to be evacuated from the township’s Parent/Child Resource Centre or frail seniors from their homes.

After the meeting, Prince CAO Mary Lynn Duguay said the new capability was an outstanding achievement for the township’s volunteers.

“It is not common for small, volunteer fire departments to be qualified to do interior attack,” Duguay said.

“We are proud of our fire chief for working so hard to qualify our fire personnel, and we are proud that our personnel are being hired full time i(by Sault Ste. Marie’s Fire Services),” she added.

The two firefighters who are now employed by Sault Fire will continue to serve as volunteer firefighters in Prince Township, Hemsworth noted.

Meanwhile, Duguay said she expects to present councillors with quarterly reports on the township’s budget variance and its investments, in addition to the reports they receive before budget meetings.

The move will enable council and staff to “keep a close eye on” projected revenues and expenditures throughout the year and help prevent the township from going over budget in particular areas, Duguay explained.

She also presented a synopsis of the township’s Financial Indicator Review from 2020, based on that year’s Financial Information Return.

The total taxes receivable were just over 10 per cent, which Duguay  said was below average for a small  municipalities.

The township’s reserves were also “really high” when compared to other small municipalities, and the debt burden and debt servicing costs were low.

“It’s looking really good,” Duguay reported.


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