Castor to take fire department stand-down policy to County meeting

Bryan Passifiume
ECA Review Reporter

Castor council will be bringing a fire department stand-down policy to the County Fire Services meeting.
Castor CAO Sandi Jackson presented a ‘Fire Stand-Down Policy’ to Castor council, which would lay out specific guidelines for the Castor Fire Department to stop responding to a call.
Jackson told council that there was a need for such a policy, as there wasn’t any direction on how and when the fire department can be ‘waved off’ from an active response.
“We are sitting in a bad position if a policy is not in place,” Jackson told council.

The policy, as presented to council, states that only the fire chief or command officer may cancel a response while on scene. The fire department’s response may also be cancelled en route by the RCMP, or by another fire department’s command while they are on scene.
The rationale for the policy is shared liability between the fire department and whoever orders the Castor Fire Department to stand down. The issuer of the stand down order must be confident that no threat of fire exists, or that there is no need for assistance from the fire department.
In addition to fires, the Castor fire department is dispatched to respond with motor vehicle accidents and certain medical calls.
While the policy was presented to council to approve, council felt that it would be prudent to seek guidance from other fire departments within the county first.
Councillor Mike Bain suggested that the policy be presented at the upcoming county fire services agreement meeting, which will be held next month.
“All must be in agreement,” Councillor Bain said, saying that such a policy would be best served if all members in the county’s Mutual Aid Agreement agree to it. “When the mutual aid area develops a policy, it must be accepted by all of us.”
Council passed a motion to pass the policy forward to the upcoming county fire protection meeting.

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