Unification needed for emergency services

Unification is crucial for the proper response to a major disaster, natural or otherwise.

Re: “Hectic afternoon for Colwood firefighters,” Aug. 22.

This article reinforces and demonstrates the logic of a single unified regional fire rescue response service.

A simultaneous brush fire and a separate serious head-on collision involving four cars required the combined resources and the working together of the Colwood and View Royal fire departments, along with Saanich dispatch.

This begs the question: why does the Greater Victoria region, with only 345,000 residents, have 13 municipalities, 13 mayors, 13 councils, 13 fire departments and 13 fire chiefs, many of them competing and even hostile with one another?

Logic suggests if all or some of the 13 departments were combined there would be better use of resources, better overall planning and better co-ordination, which would produce better services at a more reasonable cost to the region’s residents and businesses.

This unification is crucial for the proper response to a major disaster, natural or otherwise. Such a disaster will affect the whole region and will require a regional response with prior regional planning and preparation.

A good start toward this regional unification would be the creation of one regional fire rescue department. The value of this is demonstrated in the quoted Aug. 22 article which indicates the logic and necessity of a single unified West Shore fire rescue department.

Frank Blundell

View Royal

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