As of the end of August Town of Brome Lake’s new Fire Chief, Don Mireault, will run a new kind of Fire Department. On top of Sutton and TBL fire departments, he will oversee a pilot project that also involves the municipalities of West Bolton, Abercorn and Brome; a different management structure to maximize administrative efficiency. This is the stated goal of a two-year pilot project. The change comes as TBL’s Fire Chief, Pierre Laplante, retires after 42 years of service with the town.

An enthusiastic Mireault sees the new management agreement as a way to “better cope with limited resources as well as improve access to fire-fighting equipment”.

For the residents of the municipalities involved, the service will remain unchanged. On average, the emergency response time of the present volunteer fire brigade is 3 minutes 45 seconds, one of the best in Quebec. In the past year,

TBL and Sutton’s fire brigades have acted jointly on nearly 30 occasions.

Example of cooperation 

In a statement issued by TBL Mayor Richard Burcombe and Sutton’s Louis Dandenault, the two mayors say that TBL “will enjoy the services not only of its current prevention officer Nathalie Michaud but those of Sutton’ expert Marc- Antoine Fortier as well. (…) Sutton residents will now be able to rely on a new TBL employee, whose time will be divided equally between the two municipalities, and work on mandatory residential inspections and other required tasks.”

Can citizens expect savings? TBL’s Director-General Gilbert Arel is very clear “The objective of the project is to improve the management of services. There may be economies down the road but I cannot put a price tag on it just now.”