Council to make final decision on fire response times in new communities
Published Monday, March 19, 2018 7:42AM MDT
Last Updated Monday, March 19, 2018 1:01PM MDT
City council is expected to make a final decision in the next few days about temporarily increasing emergency response times in new communities.
Currently, the standard response time is seven minutes but the plan would see an increase to ten minutes in new communities, that don’t have fire stations, until a tax base is built up to support service.
Earlier this month, council voted six to three in favour of the plan to increase targeted fire response times in new developments.
Councillor Shane Keating says it is a money saving issue as fire halls in new communities cost about $3 million each and construction costs would be covered by taxpayers.
Others say the plan creates a two-tier system and that everyone should be entitled to the same level of service.
The Calgary Fire Department says the services cost each household only about 75 cents per day and that almost half of its calls are medical related.
Officials say firefighters are often on scene before paramedics and that it's a debate between saving money and ensuring safety.
The plan was to go before council for final approval on Monday but has been pushed to Tuesday.