Fredericton firefighters ask city to undertake fire risk analysis

Is the Fredericton Fire Department responding to calls in a timely fashion?

That's one of the questions a fire risk analysis being proposed by firefighters will look at.

Coun. Stephen Chase said the Fredericton Fire Fighters' Association approached council several months ago to ask for the assessment.

"It's a process that we undertake roughly every ten years," Chase told our newsroom on Tuesday. "It takes a look at the response time for our fire service to be able to arrive at situations throughout the city."

The last fire risk analysis was performed in 2009, according to Chase, who chairs the city's public safety committee.

He said several factors can affect the fire department's response time to an emergency.

"It's something that's affected by the density, and we are increasing in density, particularly on the periphery," said Chase. "It's also affected by the traffic patterns. Some of the new roads that have been built, like Knowledge Park Drive, things like the roundabout and other traffic changes."

A previous study resulted in the closure of the MacLaren Avenue and Harrison Court fire stations, and a new fire station on Two Nations Crossing.

Chase said a new fire station could be considered if the assessment finds there's a deficiency in a certain area that can't be addressed with the existing stations.

A budget proposal will be presented as part of the 2018 budget process, and Chase said he expects a report containing recommendations will come later in 2018.

"We think it would be a good investment of money," said Chase. "It is oriented towards improving public safety and ensuring that all areas of the city are enabled to have a good response seen by our professional, 24/7 fire service."

It's expected the study, which will be performed by a consultant, will cost about $80,000.