Fire department considers marketing partnerships

The Minto Fire Department is considering partnering with the marketing divisions of corporate partners to build on a successful series of community events and create new revenue streams.

In a report at the Nov. 3 Minto council meeting, Fire Chief Chris Harrow explained that upon adding an administrative coordinator position the department embarked on a project to “improve upon the brand of Minto Fire.

“The improvement of the brand and the ability to connect with the community would all work towards improving the ability of the department to implement mandated public education programs,” he explained.

Another effect of the branding program, Harrow noted, was improving upon the department’s recruitment and retention program.

“Minto Fire has become a brand that people seem to accept and appreciate, which in turn assists greatly in our ability to recruit new firefighters to the department. The feedback from the public in the form of resumes has been a pleasant surprise,” Harrow commented.

In conjunction with the branding exercise, the department also initiated several events in the community that brought the three stations together, while filling a need in the community.

“The outcome were events that have become very successful and have filled our goal of bringing our brand to the forefront,” stated Harrow.

The noted the “91Run” event in June had over 180 participants and the Touch a Truck day initiated by Harriston Motors has grown every year, with over 1,000 attending last year. In addition fire department breakfasts and spaghetti suppers have been well attended and a slo-pitch tournament in Clifford had a full slate of teams in spite poor weather.

Harrow said there are numerous partnership opportunities available.

“We’re not talking about soliciting donations … many major businesses have marketing budgets and they want to put their logo alongside someone they trust as a partner,” he told council, adding the money raised would also create a new revenue stream for the department.

“The additional revenue would be put towards projects and equipment that we might not be able to afford ourselves. An example might include a new training facility.”

Council received the 2015 Minto Fire Marketing Report and indicated it supports Minto Fire with the marketing program being initiated and the events being organized throughout the year.