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Familiar name to work on fire master plan

Councillors hope to see priority items well ahead of the 2020 budget process

By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express

The city is turning to a familiar face to work on a revamped fire master plan.

Dillon Consulting has been awarded the contract to serve as an adviser in the development of the plan, which will include a community risk assessment.

The contract comes in at $159,433.

Two bids came through for the tender, according to a report from finance commissioner Stephanie Sinnott.

Staff evaluated the bids on criteria such as qualification and experience of the company and its team members, understanding of the project, scheduling and pricing.

Through the evaluation process, the cross-functional staff team agreed the proposal submitted by Dillon Consulting Limited was comprehensive and thorough; addressed all requirements of the RFP (request for proposal); and the highest ranking proponent and best satisfied the city’s requirements,” Sinnott’s report to council reads.

This is not the first time Dillon and the city have worked together on a fire master plan.

A plan intended to run through 2023 received council approval in 2013.

Last summer, Fire Chief Derrick Clark delivered his five-year review of the plan. The chief’s investigation stated 27 of 31 recommendations within the plan were either complete or in progress.

However, Clark’s review faced criticism from some councillors and the union representing Oshawa firefighters, IAFF Local 465.

In July 2018, council declined to have Clark’s report peer-reviewed by Dillon.

The need for a new plan is due to growth in the city greater than anticipated six years ago.

Ward 2 regional councillor Tito-Dante Marimpietri believes the city is being “prudent and progressive” on the matter.

But because the plan adopted six years ago is already “outdated,” Marimpietri was apprehensive about dealing with Dillon again.

“Do you believe that this company we are choosing has the same ability or prudence or progressiveness to be able to deliver what they didn’t deliver last time?” he asked Clark. “Are you absolutely confident the money we are investing in this master plan will be adequate in not only meeting the needs but exceeding them when it comes to growth?”

Clark, who was not involved with the 2013 plan, said it was not as comprehensive as the new plan.

“These are different terms of reference – very inclusive… we’ve covered every aspect possible,” he said.

Dillon has indicated it will need roughly seven months to complete the plan.

Ward 5 regional councillor Brian Nicholson worried under this timeline items requiring consideration in the 2020 budget wouldn’t come to council on time.

He requested a preliminary review before budget deliberations begin.

“I think, with all due respect, council made it clear they wanted this done before the 2020 budget,” he said.

Clark said Dillon will consult with Oshawa Fire Services management, city council, the commissioner of community services and the city manager.

Four representatives of IAFF Local 465, as well as residents, user groups, and related city departments, will provide input as well.

The new master plan will manage a wide variety of factors related to fire service in Oshawa.

According to Sinnott’s report, it will include an analysis of current and forecasted fire service needs and will result in a “detailed 10-year implementation strategy for city council and staff.”

In particular, Dillon will predict demands in terms of administration, public education, fire prevention, fire suppression and emergency response, and vehicle and equipment.

Peter Dyson, president of IAFF Local 465, said the time is now to take action on the plan.

“I think we just want to get on with it. The city has been saying they want to do this since February, and we are now into June,” Dyson said.

Dyson said he feels Dillon will have more than enough information to consider, and he hopes they do a “thorough” job.