East Hawkesbury Township Council held its first regular meeting of the new term on November 15 and changes are being made to fire prevention efforts in the municipality.

Fire Chief Bryce Luker told the council he has advertised internally for a Preventionist. A preventionist is a firefighter with additional responsibility and expertise in fire prevention. Luker said there is currently no preventionist role in the department. He is the only member of the department qualified as a preventionist but cannot adequately fulfill the role due to his other duties as chief. Luker would like to have one of the firefighters take on the preventionist role, which would include making residential visits for fire safety inspections.   

Mayor Robert Kirby asked about the extent of home fire safety inspections.

“Usually, it’s very basic, it’s just to make sure you have working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms as well as just taking note of what’s on the property if there’s any propane tanks that are stored on the property, that’s stuff we need to know that we can document,” Luker said.

Residents are not required to let firefighters in for an inspection.

“It’s entirely at their discretion,” said Luker.

However, residents may ask firefighters to inspect an area of their home if they have questions about it in relation to fire safety.

“We have to be invited into the house,” Luker emphasized.

Interviews for a preventionist on the East Hawkesbury Fire Department will take place early in 2023. Additional training will follow for the individual selected for the role.

Land for road widening

On November 15, East Hawkesbury Council approved a by-law to acquire additional land at Part Lot 28, Concession 2 for future widening of Pattee Road.

Asset Management Plan adopted

East Hawkesbury Council adopted a new Asset Management Plan for the township at the November 15 meeting.

According to the by-law enacting the plan, Asset management planning is an integrated approach, involving all Township departments, to deliver services to the community through the effective management of existing and new assets. The intent is to provide defined levels of service to the community with an appropriate level of risk at the lowest lifecycle cost.

Changes to meeting time

Council meetings will be taking place earlier than before in East Hawkesbury. On November 15, council approved an updated Procedural by-law which sets the new meeting time at 4:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month. Council meetings previously began at 6:30 p.m.