At the May 25, 2015 City Council meeting, Director of Protective Services, Leigh Sawicki provided the City of Wetaskiwin Council with an update of recent activities.
Protective Services Highlights: Peace Officers have responded to 776 calls from January 1st, 2015 to April 30th , 2015, up 142 calls from the same reporting period in 2014.
May 8th, 2015 the City held a mock exercise to simulate the derailment of a train within the city limits. This was a live exercise involving City staff, CP Rail, AEMA, RCMP, EMS and students from the high school to test the response of emergency services personnel, activation of the ECC, operation of the reception center and interagency cooperation. The event went quite well with some things noted to be improved upon. A report on the exercise is being prepared by ERMC and the Protective Services Department.
Several staff changes have occurred from January to April. The Fire Department hired a new Deputy Fire Chief of training. Alex Plant started May 19, 2015. A new administrative assistant has been hired on a maternity leave position. Carrie Groulx started on May 5, 2015.
Some fire fighters have left the department for work reasons. All fire officer positions have been filled through internal promotion.
The fire department responded to 108 emergency calls from January 1, 2015 to April 30, 2105. This is an increase of 15 calls from the same reporting period in 2014 As of May 19 there were 136 calls, up 23 calls from the same time last year.
The RCMP and Crown prosecutor were able to gain a conviction on Peter Jones in regards to the several Arsons committed in the City of Wetaskiwin. Mr. Jones was charged with 26 counts of arson and pled out to 25 of those charges and sentenced in April to 12 years with no eligibility for parole for 6 years.
A new Tanker has been ordered by the County to replace the City’s currently in use. Delivery should be by early summer 2016. Due to the low use of hours on the current tanker and lack of water supply in the county, the current tanker will serve as a secondary unit.
A new side by side unit has replaced the previous unit sold to the Reynolds Museum. Purchased and implemented the use of two back pack blowers to assist in the suppression of grass fires.
The Aerial Ladder Unit had both ladder cylinders rebuilt at a cost of $5800.00. Pumper 3 had the genset melt down due to an improper wiring install at the time of purchase. The company has gone bankrupt so no warranty is available. Cost to repair is between $6000.00 and $7000.00.
There was an increase in requests for fire inspections in the city. The Department has also noticed many fire code violations while attending to fire and alarm calls. Inspections to date are 56.
The City of Wetaskiwin received a $35,000 rebate from WCB in regards to premiums.