Canadian Firefighter Magazine

Grimsby and Lincoln win national municipal collaboration award for fire and emergency services pilot

By CFF Staff   

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May 19, Ontario  – The Towns of Grimsby and Lincoln, Ont., have received national recognition for their Niagara West Fire and Emergency Services pilot project from the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA). The Towns were presented with the first-ever 2022 CAMA Collaboration Award between municipalities during a Virtual Awards of Excellence Ceremony held on Wednesday.

“The implementation of a shared fire service pilot allows both municipalities to maximize their collective resources, ultimately resulting in service efficiencies and significant cost avoidance,” said Jack Benzaquen, CAMA president, CAMA representative for Quebec and City Manager for the City of Dollard-des-Ormeaux, QC.

On October 1, 2021, a Memorandum of Understanding came into effect establishing the Niagara West Fire & Emergency Services to serve the two neighbouring communities.

Located in an area of Ontario that is estimated to grow by 200,000 residents per year, the shared fire service allows both municipalities to proactively maximize their collective resources and reduce costs, resulting in administrative efficiencies and additional support for frontline services. It will also help preserve the more cost-effective volunteer fire service model currently employed by both Towns for years to come.

A working group comprised of team members from both Towns was created in 2020 to determine if the adoption of a shared fire service would result in a more efficient, effective, and affordable model of emergency service. The working group allowed for increased engagement and cooperation through the pilot’s development and implementation.

The project will be rolled out in two phases.

Phase 1 began October 1, 2021, and is expected to continue for approximately 24 months. During this phase a single fire department has been created and a Joint Advisory Committee consisting of members of council from both municipalities was established to oversee and provide governance to the service area. A Fire Master Plan will also be carried out through a third party.

Pending approval from both municipal councils, Phase 2 will proceed to full implementation of the partnership.

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