Joint fire services assessment between Town of Georgina and Town of East Gwillimbury identifies opportunities for shared services

The Towns of Georgina and East Gwillimbury announced a joint fire services assessment in 2022 which included an update to both municipal Fire Master Plans, options for service efficiencies, and a review of the potential to consolidate the two departments. The study included extensive stakeholder engagement and concluded that both communities are well served by their existing fire and emergency services departments. Although the study does not recommend consolidating the two fire departments at this time, the report identifies opportunities for shared services with a focus on shared fire fleet maintenance.

“With both municipalities seeing significant growth in the coming years, this joint fire services assessment was a much-needed review of the two fire services,” said Georgina Mayor Margaret Quirk. “Municipalities continue to face financial challenges in these difficult economic times. I am pleased the report has found opportunities to improve services as we look at new ways to better serve our residents.”

“Community safety has been and continues to be a key priority for Council. Over the past decade, the Town has invested significantly in Emergency Services,” said Mayor Virginia Hackson. “This review solidifies that we are making the right investments and helps us to continue to develop critical partnerships, such as these, to ensure we can continue to provide the best value and service to our residents.”

The joint assessment was funded as part of the provincial Municipal Modernization (Intake 3) grant. The objectives of the review included determining efficiencies and modernization opportunities under the terms of the Office of the Fire Marshal's Three Lines of Defence:

  • Public fire safety education
  • Fire safety standards and enforcement
  • Emergency response

As part of the report, both Georgina and East Gwillimbury Councils endorsed further exploration of potential shared services to assist with continuous modernization. As an initial step towards shared services, both Council’s approved a recommendation to explore a concept of transferring the East Gwillimbury fire fleet to Georgina Fleet Services. It is anticipated that this transition could occur in 2024, subject to further review and 2024 budget approvals.

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