Santa Parade in Morrisburg, Saturday, December 6, 2014
Your house is on fire and you’ve just called 911. How would you feel knowing that the dispatcher failed to “page out the call” to the fire department? This is just one of the issues with the current South Dundas township’s dispatch system.
At the October 4th meeting of the South Dundas council, South Dundas Fire Chief Chris McDonough reported on the state of the township’s dispatch system and recommended a solution to council.
According to McDonough, the fire department is “currently being dispatched by Christie Walther also know as Canpage Communications.” He provided a list of issues with the dispatch company that impacted the safety of South Dundas residents, including outdated equipment, unreliable personnel, and failure to follow procedures.
For these reasons, he did “joint research with South Glengarry and South Stormont” and it has been concluded that the city of Brockville is the answer.
He told council that the “cost is a little higher, but service is far better.”
McDonough explained that “the expedient and accurate handling of fire calls is a significant factor in the successful outcome of an incident.”
It was reported that “the Brockville Fire Department currently renovated their dispatch centre and purchased a new Crisys Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD).”
According to Crisys Limited, they were “created for the sole purpose of developing the most advanced decision-support systems possible for responding to urgent requests for assistance.”
McDonough recommended that the township “enter into a five year agreement with the City of Brockville to provide a 24/7 Professional Fire Dispatch system, including voice paging system, 2-way radio communications, computer automated dispatch and the Crisys electronic reporting system.”
The recommended system will cost $42,596.54 the first year, which includes $18,163.54 for dispatch, $13,333 for the wireless internet link, and $11,100 for the Crisys reporting system.
The wireless internet link, which costs a total of $40,000 per year, is being divided among the three townships of South Dundas, South Stormont, and South Glengarry for a total of $13,333 each.
The cost for the second year will be $36,236.54 with a 5 per cent increase for each of the following three years left in the contract.
Councillor Archie Mellan was impressed with how the new system would “greatly enhance response time.”
Councillor Evonne Delegarde commented that it seems like a “far superior system” and that it makes sense to “spend the extra money to have a better system.”
The chief agreed, adding that “they’re on top of everything” and “we’ll be able to predict our boundaries a lot sharper – right to the longitude and latitude – very specific.”
Mayor Steven Byvelds remarked that “the thing this demonstrates is the cooperation of the municipalities.”
The council agreed with Chief McDonough’s recommendation and the current provider will be given a 90 day notice.
McDonough predicts that the “GPS and fire department data will be entered and the equipment installed and tested by December 1, 2011” and that “the system will go live January 2012.”
The St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage was successful in its application to the Canada Arts Presentation Fund, local MP Guy Lauzon delivered the news at the beginning of the April 27th performance.
Lauzon announced that the St. Lawrence Stage will receive $20,000 government funding over the next two years.
“The Stage is a great opportunity for local residents and guests to experience how fortunate we are to have such a vibrant art and culture sector in our community,” said Lauzon.
“It also provides a chance for new and emerging artists to hone their skills and gain important professional development opportunities.”
“This is the Stage’s fourth grant from Canadian Heritage and it is the first time we have received multi-year funding,” said Sandra Whitworth, president of the board for the St. Lawrence Stage. “Knowing that we have two years of funding is enormously important in allowing us to plan our series well in advance and to continue to bring amazing musicians to Morrisburg and SD&G.”
Thanks to this funding, the Stage will be able to carry out its Music and Workshop Series project.
St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage Performances is a specialized series presenter based in Morrisburg.
The presenter’s programming focuses on acoustic guitar artists and singer songwriters performing in a variety of genres, including folk, fingerstyle, jazz, blues, roots and indie rock.
The Stage usually presents nine to ten performances and two to three instrumental workshops per season.
All activities take place at the Morrisburg Meeting Centre which has a 172 seats auditorium.
About 1,000 people per year attend the St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage.
Are you one of the many South Dundas residents enjoying a new class thanks to reading about it in the South Dundas Recreation Guide?
Ben Macpherson, Recreation Program Coordinator for South Dundas Township, told council in a report that “the response to the Recreation Guide has been very positive. All the programs run through South Dundas Recreation have sold out.”
In fact, “new classes were created to accommodate the larger numbers.”
Macpherson told the Leader “the guide cost $5,682 after tax. This was the first guide ever done for South Dundas so it was done with all the bells and whistles. Future guides likely won’t be full colour, high gloss, from front to back.”
He explained that the opulence of this first issue was done to get people’s attention, “to inform people of what is out there for them do.”
“At this point I plan to put (the guide) out twice a year. Once for Fall/Winter and once for Spring/Summer.”
“If anyone is interested in running a program or have a program going that would fit into the guide then they can contact me directly” at 613-543-2937 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I am always open to running new programs, the more programming being offered to South Dundas, I believe makes South Dundas an even better place to live or visit.”
“It’s people in the community that I rely on to provide the instruction of the programs. We have several teachers from the area who are now running cooking classes, art classes, dance classes and basketball programs. I have professionals teaching yoga and kickboxing and boot camps.”
As for programs added for this fall, there are: art classes for kids; yoga with classes for beginner and intermediate levels; senior yoga; adult swing classes; and, boot camp classes.”
Defining his role, he said, “I am here to find the space, coordinate times and do all I can to get the word out to the community about the programs and events.”
Macpherson reported that “new courses being created are advertised mainly on the South Dundas website (www.southdundas.com) under Recreation News.”
He also posts the information on Facebook and Twitter. In addition, “any programs involving kids goes out to the schools who distribute the information to students. Fiona Carr of the Ontario Early Years Centre also helps to get information out through her centre.”
Macpherson shared: “It has been my goal to create or continue to offer programming for people of all ages.”
“When I started in my position, one of the biggest concerns expressed was that nobody knew what was happening. I think the guide addresses that concern.”
“I want people to get out and be active, whether through sports or other activities in the community.”
“The next guide I will be putting out will be for the end of February.”
Macpherson invites those with programs for the guide or those who wish to advertise with the guide, to contact him for details.
The South Dundas Recreational Guide goes out “to every household in South Dundas” and it is meant “to help promote active healthy lifestyles.”