ELMSDALE: A resolution may be in the offing to a troublesome situation that has left Indian Brook fire unsure of who may respond to their community should a major fire occur, although discussions are only in the preliminary stages.
Kim Ramsay, Director of Finance and Administration with the Municipality of East Hants (MEH), provided an update on the situation to MEH’s Fire Advisory Committee during a Sept. 11 meeting at Council Chambers. The item was last discussed at June’s meeting.
“Back in early spring we met with Indian Brook after the Shubie Fire Service had said no, they wouldn’t be responding to calls in Indian Brook,” she said. “The municipality got involved at the level where Indian Brook wanted us to help them understand how the mutual aid agreement worked and how they could continue to get fire service from the folks in East Hants.”
She said it’s not up to the municipality to decide who—if any East Hants departments—respond to calls in the First Nation community.
“What we would explain to them, and what we would explain to our own firefighters is it really up to each department whether to choose to go to a call, whether that’s in Indian Brook or just down the street,” said Ramsay. “Each volunteer makes their own decision, each department at the executive level makes their own decisions.
Ramsay said Indian Brook is still looking for service. She said there are several fire departments that have indicated they will not respond to Indian Brook. Among those are Shubenacadie, Milford, and Elmsdale.
“There are some who will provide service based on their protocols, but those don’t involve sending firefighting equipment in some instances; some involve sending only an apparatus to fill up air bottles; some involve they will go but only to help if a firefighter is in trouble then they will deploy their services.
“As far as I know the Nine Mile River fire department is still providing service to Indian Brook. Their protocols is they will send some firefighting equipment.”
She said MEH CAO Connie Nolan and Sipekne’katik Band Director of Operations Nathan Sack have been talking throughout the discussions.
“Really, the point we’re at right now is that Connie and Nathan had chatted about if the municipality could play a role in negotiating some fee-for-service until the Band...