More Staff and New Fire Hall Needed Says Report
Prince George, B.C.- City Council for Prince George will receive a detailed report from Prince George Fire Rescue Chief John Iverson this evening, and it isn’t pretty.
The 147 page report was prepared by consultants Dave Mitchell and Associates. It presents a list of 24 recommendations to improve service, including replacing and relocating Fire Hall #1. The recommendation suggests the preferred site would be ” at or near Victoria and 20th Avenue. The fire hall should provide a minimum of four drive through bays.”
The recommendations also call for more staff so the Fire Department can achieve the requirement under the National Fire Protection Association guidelines that call for 14 firefighters to be on scene of a structure fire within 8 minutes. The report notes the Prince George Fire Rescue has not achieved that objective even once over the past three years but explains the reasons why “the most significant being that the majority of structure fires occur in the central part of the city which is responded primarily from Hall 1 and Hall 2. The total staffing from these two fire halls is eleven and requires the four staff from one of the fire halls to the north (Hall 4) or the west (Hall 3) to achieve the staffing and given travel times this has not been possible. For that reason, it is recommended that the Department fully staff another unit, probably at Hall 1 to provide the minimum staffing for structure fire responses.”
The focus on protective services in the City will also see RCMP Superintendent Warren Brown detail his detachment’s priorities for 2016/17. As 250News reported on Friday, ( see previous story), the area of 3rd and George will be highlighted as one of the hot spots for calls for Police service.
Council will also make decisions on three rezoning applications. One calls for a rezoning to a portion of the site that houses Princess Auto to allow for the development of a vehicle wash. Another seeks an amendment to the Official community Plan and a rezoning to allow for the development of a 27 unit not for profit seniors housing development on Spruce Street. The third public hearing calls for a rezoning on Vanier Drive to allow for mixed residential and commercial development.
Representatives from the Ministry of Forests will also be on hand this evening to provide Council with an update on the state of the Prince George Timber Supply. The Chief Forester is to announce the new annual allowable cut later this year, tonight’s presentation will detail the factors examined in making such a determination.