Wellington North signing full-time dispatching agreement with Guelph Fire Department

New dispatching agreement with Guelph Fire will add $8,000 cost

WELLINGTON NORTH – New radios purchased this summer will allow Wellington North Fire Services to jump onto the county’s radio system with public works and other fire services in the county.

The transition, to be implemented by the end of the year, will provide full-time communication between volunteer firefighters and a professional dispatcher from the Guelph Fire Department.

Currently a Guelph Fire dispatcher receives a 911 call and pages out volunteer fire fighters here, but then and stops monitoring communications.

“We rely on a dispatcher to be in our radio room all of the time,” director of fire services Chris Harrow stated in an Oct. 12 report to township council.

“With the varying numbers we have attending our calls, we don’t always have a person to put in the radio room to complete this important task.”

The report added, “Utilizing full-time dispatching services is standard practice in most fire services and ensures you always have someone on the incidents to be able to perform all of the functions needed.”

Wellington North will enter into a full dispatching agreement with Guelph Fire, increasing the cost of its present dispatching contract by $8,000.

Harrow was unable to tell Advertiser what the updated total cost of the contract would be, saying the total is based off census numbers and past year totals wouldn’t compare.

Guelph Fire presently provides dispatching services to all other county fire services.

Service continues management transitioning

Callise Loos has officially been appointed deputy chief for Wellington North Fire Services after council here passed a bylaw making it so on Oct. 12.

The move comes as part of an ongoing transition to new management for fire services in Minto and Wellington North, which share department administration services.

“Deputy chiefs should be appointed to act on behalf of the director of fire services in his absence,” a report to council from fire services director Chris Harrow states.

“This includes all of the day-to-day operations of the fire department and other associated activities and duties of the fire chief,” the report adds.

Volunteer district chiefs will continue running stations and overseeing day-to-day operations, like emergency scene management. Administration will support and provide command at incidents, if needed.

To ensure continuity across both organizations, Minto and Wellington North technically have two deputy fire chiefs each—Callise Loos and Marco Guidotti.

The Fire Prevention and Protection Act stipulates each department should have both a chief and deputy chief.

Because both roles come with what Harrow says is a heavy workload, the positions need to be full-time municipally-paid jobs, rather than volunteer roles.

“By passing this bylaw, it will ensure the efficient operations of both departments carry on throughout any absences,” Harrow’s report states.