The City of Dryden is moving on. Over 30 Dryden residents have applied to be paid, on-call volunteer firefighters.
Fire Chief Ryan Murrell and city administration worked to provide different firefighting model options for the city, that councillors would then be able to assess. Councillors began to look at their options as the work stoppage for volunteer firefighters in the city is continuing. On February 22, the Dryden Firefighters Association withdrew their services. The city currently has five contracted, full-time firefighters on staff.
Switching from a volunteer service to a paid, on-call fire department is estimated to cost roughly $138,392 per year in extra wages. The paid, on-call model has a total estimated cost of $946,899 per year, with a $39.08 increase for each taxpaying household. This represents an estimated tax increase of 0.98 per cent.
Murrell and administration estimate that the paid, on-call fire department has an average 9 minute response time.
Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Dryden, Roger Nesbitt, says that the selection and interview process for the potential new recruits will begin soon. The recruitment drive closed on April 12.
The City is still using mutual aid agreements with volunteer firefighters in Oxdrift and Wabigoon to supplement their current fire coverage.
For more information:
Chief talks firefighting costs
Deadlock in Dryden