County training officer supported

Wellington North has joined a growing list of municipalities supporting a county-wide fire training officer.

On March 21, councillors passed a resolution of support following a presentation by Brad Patton, Wellington County Fire Coordinator. The presentation was like one made in Minto a few weeks ago.

Patton stressed, “Volunteers are not free, they are an investment we need to nurture.”

He said the training officer would not replace existing training officers, but act in a coordinator role, creating training activities and dealing with paperwork.

Having a single person coordinate the training should reduce stress and the workload on current training officers.

“In the future, I predict more cooperation at the scene of various emergencies.”

He said if firefighters in Arthur, Mount Forest, or Centre Wellington are having a bad day, there will be officers from other fire departments come in to assist – officers who are trained the same way in responding to the scene or operating the equipment.

“It will be safer and more efficient,” Patton said.

Mayor Ray Tout said, “Speaking for Wellington North, the volunteer firefighters are second to none in my mind. There is no municipality in rural Ontario that can do without them. I’ve always admired someone who can get up at 2am after working all day, and going out to a call – because they want to give to their community.”

He said the county looking at the provision of standard training sounds like a great idea. “As a personal opinion, I feel they not only need the support, but deserve the support of consistent training.”

Patton said there are no direct costs to the municipality.

Council adopted the recommendation for a county wide fire training officer.