Windsor firefighters vote to terminate West Hants coverage

Membership hopeful mediation will solve situation before they must cease service

Published on May 23, 2014

Windsor Fire Chief Scott Burgess says the volunteer firefighters just want to have the issues between the WFD and West Hants council settled so they may continue to serve the community.

© Carole Morris-Underhill

WINDSOR - It was a decision many county residents feared would come to pass.

Windsor firefighters voted last night, May 20, to terminate their service to West Hants.

Coverage to county residents will cease June 30, 2014 unless an agreeable arrangement can be worked out.

Windsor Fire Chief Scott Burgess issued a press release late this afternoon, May 21, on behalf of the Windsor Fire Department. The decision, considered a necessary step given council's recent motions, was unanimous.

“What this means is the WFD will continue to provide fire service to West Hants residents until June 30 but cannot extend the service beyond that date without payment from West Hants and a contract to detail the future relationship between West Hants and the WFD,” the press release states.

“Members were very clear that this was their only option, given the uncertainty they have experienced for a long time, compounded by lack of payment and contract for services,” Burgess continued in the prepared statement. “They felt it necessary to take this action to ensure the citizens of West Hants, which include many of our members and their families, will have the fire service that they need heading into the future. “

Earlier in the month, West Hants council voted 6-3 in favour of parting ways with the WFD once they create their own fire service. Since that time, there has been a tremendous outcry from the public, especially from residents living in the areas of Falmouth, Garlands Crossing and Three Mile Plains.

Earlier this week, the provincial government stepped in to offer mediation between the two entities. Warden Richard Dauphinee called an emergency council meeting, which will be held Friday morning, May 22, to vote on whether council should enter into mediation. In an interview with the Journal, Dauphinee said he’d be recommending to councillors to accept the provincial government’s offer.

Stay tuned to the Hants Journal for detailed coverage of the fire services issue.

To read the full press release from the WFD, click here.