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On the same side

For the last eight months, the city’s fire department and senior management have been divided.

A scar left behind by the tragic fire at 116 Centre Street North that erupted in January, killing four people.

The union has continually pushed for senior management at the city to do more. The management of Oshawa Fire Services have remained quiet, shunning requests from the union for cooperation.

In July, Fire Chief Derrick Clark released his five-year review of the Fire Master Plan, a document that was immediately slammed by the union as barely scratching the surface of the issues in Oshawa, something they promise their community risk assessment will do.

Now, OFS is bringing in Dillon Consulting to review the chief’s report and also complete a risk assessment of their own. A move that seems to fly in the face of what the union is attempting to accomplish.

However, it’s time to put the divisive language aside.

Both the firefighters union and the senior management at Oshawa Fire have the same goal, to protect the city and its residents in the event of a fire.

Admittedly, it does seem counter-productive for the city to pay for a report that the union is working on creating free of charge, which all comments and assurances have said will be an unbiased look at the facts.

With that said, the more information the better, and with not one, but two community risk assessments completed on the city of Oshawa, it will only serve to allow management and the union to create plans that will truly protect our city.

The next 10 years for Oshawa are going to prove pivotal in terms of population growth. This growth will put pressure on the city’s infrastructure, resources, and services. Making sure that these services can keep up with the growth is crucial, and nowhere is that fact more critical than when it comes to the city’s emergency services.

It’s time to put differences aside, rebuild the bridges, and have a united front when it comes to the future of firefighting in Oshawa.