Kingsville Fire to Implement 22 Recommendations Following Emergency Review

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The Kingsville Fire Service has 22 recommendations to implement following an emergency review of the department.

Council ordered the review following a water rescue incident in early September where two firefighters were injured and their boat was damaged beyond repair.

With decades of experience, Amherstburg's fire chief Bruce Montone was brought in to head up the review which lays out a long list of recommendations including health and wellness outreach for firefighters and their families, improved safety in the workplace and strengthening morale throughout the department.

Montone says the department has had some trying times as of late including the controversy surrounding former chief Bob Kissner.

"Quite frankly, I don't know that the department and its membership have gotten past the events of 2016 as well as an event such as the water rescue call that happened in early September and the near miss, if we can call it that, in terms of the potential loss of life."

He is recommending the department engage in a peer support group as well.

"A coalition of first responder agencies has existed for the last couple of years for not only rescuers, but for their spouses and their families because many of these issues affect not only the responders, but those close and around them."

Montone says morale is at an all-time low.

"Very, very quickly upon our arrival in the community as we began to talk to staff it became very, very apparent that some of the stress was certainly around employee recognition and employees being offered an opportunity to engage in the decision making."

In the report, Montone also suggested the town get to work on a new Fire Master Plan with a focus on addressing new and emerging needs as the municipality continues to grow — the current five year plan was drafted in 2016.

The entire report can be found HERE.