The three municipalities on the Saanich Peninsula have signed a pair of new agreements for their emergency services, both aimed at continuing the long-standing tradition of helping each other in times of need.
The District of North Saanich, District of Central Saanich, and Town of Sidney collectively decided to replace the previous mutual aid agreement – which saw fire departments from each municipality respond to calls in a neighbouring community as needed – with two separate agreements.
A new mutual and automatic aid agreement was signed in order to continue that collective response, however, a second agreement was signed in order to separate the Peninsula Emergency Measures Operations organization from the mutual aid agreement. According to a release from Sidney, this new agreement formalizes many aspects of emergency planning, with specific functions now assigned to each municipality and a requirement for annual reports to be presented to each council.
Both of the new agreements are in force until Dec. 31, 2027, and will be administered by the Emergency Services Committee, which consists of the three fire chiefs and chief administrative officers.
“The way Peninsula municipalities work together to manage and respond to emergencies continues to evolve. The two new collaborative emergency services agreements reflect a growing commitment to emergency management, in addition to fire response. Emergency management is increasingly important to residents, especially as the effects of climate change become more real in our communities,” said Sidney Fire Chief Brett Mikkelsen.
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