Neucel nixes fire review cost

The Neucel Specialty Cellulose has declined a request from the Village of Port Alice

The Neucel Specialty Cellulose has declined a request from the Village of Port Alice to share the cost for a third party consultant to review service levels of the Port Alice Fire Volunteer Fire Department.

A letter received by the village council on March 25 from Neucel stated that initiating discussions with the Port Alice Fire Department  “to improve our capabilities” and engaging a consultant is “premature”. The letter goes on to state that “based on the current situation, Neucel is not willing to share the cost of the consultant”.

The audit and inspection of the current demands of the Port Alice Fire Department was initiated by the Structure Firefighters Competency and Training Playbook released by the Office of the Fire Commissioner of British Columbia.

The purpose is to establish minimum standards of training required for fire services personnel in B.C.

“We have been advised by the province as of late last year that every municipality is to establish what service level is, so the best way for us to do that is with a third party consultant so we make sure we get that right,” said Port Alice Chief Administrative Officer Madeline McDonald.

The purpose of the audit is to make sure “there isn’t an unrealistic expectation of the fire department.”

Port Alice has approached Firewise Consulting to assist the village’s Fire Chief Don Rethmeier with determining service levels in the community.

The contract was initially anticipated to cost $3,000, however Firewise quoted a cost of $15,000. The village returned with a proposal of $6,000 instead, with half being covered from the 2015 Fire Department budget and the remaining amount from the village.