The Hawkesbury Fire Department will continue to assist with fire calls in Brownsburg-Chatham, and Brownsburg-Chatham will continue to help in Hawkesbury whenever necessary. Hawkesbury council approved a bylaw establishing the new mutual aid agreement on Monday, May 8. It replaces one previously reached in 1995.
The agreement will allow the Hawkesbury and Brownsburg-Chatham fire departments to assist at calls on each other’s territory.
Councillor Jeanne Charlebois asked what the advantages of a mutual aid agreement with Brownsburg-Chatham are, especially since it is between municipalities in different provinces.
Fire Chief Normand Beauchamp said one of the advantages is it helps ensure short response times, because it ensures more firefighters are available to assist.
Charlebois also asked if Hawkesbury’s municipal insurance covers its firefighters while they are working outside of the province. Beauchamp confirmed that the insurance is valid.
The new mutual aid agreement between Hawkesbury and Brownsburg-Chatham was included in the 2023 Hawkesbury budget. Beauchamp anticipates some expenses associated with mutual aid calls under the agreement will be recovered through Hawkesbury’s agreement with Fire Marque, a firm which offers indemnification services for municipal fire departments.