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Former Fire Marshall tells North Bay council not to reduce firefighting strength

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A former Fire Marshall says North Bay council is playing with fire by reducing the size of its force.  Patrick Burke made that claim to council Monday night.  Council is considering reducing the on shift personnel to 13 from 16 to control costs.  But Burke says 13 firefighters can’t effectively carry out a rescue and council is only asking for trouble.  He says if a firefighter attempts a rescue when it’s not safe and the person is injured or killed there are criminal consequences connected with the event.  Burke says council has to carry out a comprehensive risk assessment to determine its fire-fighting needs.  Burke also says if council goes to 13 firefighters per shift, then it needs to tell the public they’ll be getting less service.  He adds council might want to suggest the public take the same action he did in their home when he moved back to Windsor.  Burke installed a sprinkler system in his home to increase protection but emphasizes he still needs a firefighting crew.  Burke was brought to the North Bay council meeting at the expense of the North Bay Firefighters’ Association.

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