Central Saanich has renewed one fire protection agreement, while announcing its departure from another agreement. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Central Saanich has renewed one fire protection agreement, while announcing its departure from another agreement. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Central Saanich renews one fire agreement, while preparing to leave another

Fire Chief Chris Vrabel says municipality remains fully covered

Central Saanich has renewed one fire protection agreement, while announcing its departure from another.

Councillors unanimously voted to renew the municipality’s mutual-aid agreement with neighbouring North Saanich and Sidney for another year as the agreement was set to expire at the end of February. They also unanimously endorsed plans to leave a fire service agreement that also includes departments in Saanich, Oak Bay, Esquimalt, Colwood and View Royal.

Central Saanich Fire Chief Chris Vrabel said the extension will allow him and his counterparts in Sidney and North Saanich to modernize the agreement and present a long-term agreement to council in the future.

As for the fire service agreement with the other municipalities, Vrabel said it is unlikely that Central Saanich would ever use the agreement for its intended purpose with any non-bordering municipalities because of its mutual and automatic aid agreements with neighbouring Saanich, North Saanich and Sidney.

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Central Saanich also participates in the regional disaster mutual aid agreement created in 2000 which allows the municipality to request assistance from the fire departments of other municipalities in the region.

“So as far as fire protection goes, we are fully covered,” he said.

While the agreement with the other municipalities was a good idea when signed in 2016, it did not achieve its objectives, said Vrabel, pointing to various complexities.

By serving notice of termination, Central Saanich follows Saanich, which had served termination notice in January.


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wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Saanich Peninsula