Vaudreuil-Dorion will have permanent firefighting staff as part of new collective agreement
PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK
Vaudreuil-Dorion Mayor Guy Pilon said the city’s new collective agreement with its fire department to have at least six full-time staff available 24 hours-a-day will ensure all emergency calls are adequately answered.
The City of Vaudreuil-Dorion has signed a six-year collective agreement with its firefighters to maintain a contingent of at least six full-time staff 24 hours-a-day to ensure to all emergency calls are adequately answered.
The announcement was made by the city’s Executive Director Martin Houde during the Monday evening council meeting, November 16. The agreement was signed by representatives from the city’s fire department and municipal administration at city hall Wednesday, November 18.
Pilon said that new agreement is the result of the Montreal Metropolitan Community’s (MMC) Schéma emergency risk coverage requirement that requires a specific number of firefighters to always be on-site of a fire within 10 to 15 minutes after receiving a call.
Under the previous arrangement with city’s 39 part-time firefighters, the city was able to call up one of its three groups of 13 part-time firefighters to respond to an emergency call. Pilon said that a major drawback was that in a worst-case scenario, all three groups of firefighters could have been called in unknowingly to respond to a false alarm.
The new protocol will ensure that the permanent staff will always be available to respond to an emergency situation, especially during weekdays between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. instead of having to call up separate contingents of part-time firefighters who have other daytime jobs.
“We had a lot of difficulty to obtain the right number during the day on weekdays,” Pilon told Your Local Journal. “It’s easier have a rapid response during the evening, at night and on weekends because the firefighters are at home. We’ve never had a problem during these time periods.
“This is why we decided to have permanent firefighters always available, especially during the 12-hour period on weekdays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.,” Pilon added “This is the time when we had some difficulty because the part-time staff have other jobs during the day.”
Pilon stressed that residents were never at increased risk under the old protocol, that all calls were always answered promptly and the new agreement helps to streamline the response process which will improve the quality of service provided.
“Under the old system, we never knew how many firefighters would respond and sometimes there would be too many,” said Pilon. “The big difference now is that there will always be enough staff on hand to answer calls without having too many or too few people responding.” The new arrangement will begin in January 2016.
PHOTO COURTESY VILLE DE VAUDREUIL-DORION
Mayor Guy Pilon’s 10th year as mayor of Vaudrueil-Dorion was recently celebrated by the Town Council and executive committee in a ceremony October 28.
A special tribute was also held for Pilon at city hall on November 11 to honour him for his 10 consecutive years of service as mayor. He conceded that while the city has grown substantially under his leadership, none of the changes that have been implemented would have been possible without the support of his municipal council, city administration and his constituents who first elected him in 2005.
“We’ve improved the quality of life for our citizens and this is what I am most proud of,” said Pilon. “People are happier and they have more services, especially for our children and seniors.
We’ve just won our fourth Fleurons du Québec award for our green initiatives and we have a safe and clean city. I’m very happy with my first 10 years and I hope to have another 10 years of service.”