Fire and Paramedic Services Optimization
Fire and Paramedic Services in Greater Sudbury
The City of Greater Sudbury is an amalgamation of former municipalities and neighbouring unorganized townships. When all of these communities combined, Fire Services inherited seven separate fire service delivery models which provided various levels of fire suppression, emergency rescue and medical assistance response to the community. Although there was an analysis of the different service levels provided by the seven former area municipalities, it’s apparent now that there wasn’t a clear understanding or ability to analyze true costs and usage (staffing, vehicle, equipment, and buildings) to operate each Fire Service. No benchmarks existed at that time to define a viable Fire Service and to provide a true measure of risks or needs and circumstances. There was no consistent application of a third party analysis, standards and/or best practices (i.e. Fire Underwriters Survey / National Fire Protection Association), and no consideration was given to response times or community risks. Fire Services has continued to operate a full-time career delivery model and a separate volunteer firefighter delivery model that has not taken advantage of the opportunities provided by amalgamation.
In 2000, just prior to amalgamation, land ambulance services were transferred to municipalities from the Ontario government on a 50/50 cost sharing basis. The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care plays a regulatory role through the Ambulance Act, regulations and provincial standards. The City of Greater Sudbury established a performance-based model focused on a higher quality, reasonably priced service. As a result of this decision and accountability, Paramedic Services have been continuously improving and optimizing their service delivery in Greater Sudbury since 2000.
Emergency Services completed a Strategic and Tactical Plan to set a course for the delivery of fire, paramedic and emergency management services to the community. These plans identify the need to optimize resources.
Council amended the motion to include paramedic services and directed staff to prepare a report on the optimization of fire and paramedic services, stations and service levels.
March to November 2016
Staff developed an evidence-based process to identify and assess various optimization options based on service, risk and cost criteria.
Staff consult with stakeholder groups to develop a comprehensive understanding of the current state of fire and paramedic service delivery.
Fire Underwriters Survey conducted an up-to-date assessment of the current fire protection services as they relate to fire risk in the community and presented their findings to the Finance and Administration Committee.
Community Information Sessions.
March 22, 2017
Final report to Council.