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The Municipality of Cumberland has taken the first steps toward reviewing a new model for service delivery for fire departments within the municipality.

The hub model of fire services was presented to members of an ad hoc fire services review committee on Wednesday, March 1, 2023.

The hub model would see four of the municipality’s fire departments identified as hubs including Pugwash, Parrsboro, Springhill and Shinimicas.

The remaining 12 departments would be designated as local departments.

“The primary focus of the proposed hub model is to sustain and improve fire services throughout the municipality and reduce the administrative burdens on the fire departments,” Mayor Murray Scott said. “It will also standardize levels of service, equipment and training.”

The departments designated as hubs would serve as support centres for the local departments for logistics and training.

The hub model also contemplates the creation of a new municipal fire chief position and an administrator, who would oversee the functioning of the fire departments within the municipality and eliminate most of the administrative duties burdening individual fire chiefs.

The working details of the model will be presented to the committee at its next meeting.

Committee membership includes Mayor Murray Scott, CAO Greg Herrett, Director of protective services Allen Cole, District 1 Coun. Fred Gould, District 4 Coun. Kathy Redmond, District 5 Coun. Angel McCormick and District 7 Coun. Dale Porter as well as the fire chiefs from Parrsboro, Springhill, Pugwash and Shinimicas.

The Municipality of Cumberland conducted a fire service review in 2022 with Goudreault and Associates completing a report that made more than 200 recommendations designed to improve the provision of fire services in Cumberland County.