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Fire Chief presents a Service Delivery Plan for Hamilton: maintaining strong fire protection and rescue services over the coming decade

HAMILTON, ON – Today, the Hamilton Fire Department’s (HFD) 10-year Service Delivery Plan was approved in principle by the Emergency & Community Services Committee. At the June 12th meeting, Chief David Cunliffe will seek Council approval of the Plan that aligns the services of Hamilton’s Fire Department to the city’s complex risk profile and growth since amalgamation.

Chief Cunliffe’s presentation provided growth, risk and performance data illustrating Hamilton’s significant growth since amalgamation, describing current and potential challenges facing HFD today and into the future. Through evidence-based decision making and innovation, the Plan is designed to progressively manage current growth and risk throughout the city. At its core is Hamilton’s diverse and complex risk profile – based on the city’s unique geography, growth and development, industrial sector, transportation network, demographics and climate.

On behalf of the members of the Hamilton Fire Department, I am proud to deliver a 10-year Service Delivery Plan that will allow us to continue to maintain the service our residents need, today and into the future. I want to thank Committee and Council for their support and trust of our department and this Plan. I especially want to thank my staff for their dedication and commitment in serving our city. The Hamilton Fire Department is strong for you.” - David Cunliffe, Fire Chief, Hamilton Fire Department

Prior to the amalgamation of Hamilton, the five neighbouring municipalities effectively resourced and positioned their own fire services to meet the needs of their communities. The consolidation of these fire services under the amalgamated City of Hamilton initially sustained effective levels of response. However as suburban areas are transformed by urbanization and rural areas are transformed by suburbanization, the HFD now faces challenges in achieving an effective firefighting and rescue response and the provision of required service levels.

Over the next 10 years, the Plan aims to optimize existing resources and identify the resources required to fill current gaps in service delivery. All requests for funding will be incorporated into the City’s annual capital and operating budget processes for approval.

Quick facts

  • The Hamilton Fire Department is dedicated to preserving life, property and the environment in Hamilton through an integrated program of fire protection and rescue services and emergency management.
  • The HFD is an all-hazards operation that serves a city of over half a million people through three levels of service: full-time/career emergency response services in urban areas, volunteer emergency response services in rural areas and a composite emergency response service with a mix of career and volunteer for suburban areas of the city.
  • The HFD, along with all municipalities in Ontario, is legislated by the Province’s Fire Protection and Prevention Act (FPPA), 1997.
  • HFD was established in 1832 and at that time served a population of approximately 1,200 people.
  • The HFD Service Delivery Plan is the result of a robust engagement process with key community stakeholders, HFD staff and residents.
  • For 2019, the HFD has an overall operating budget of approximately $93,000,000 with approximately 850 staff working out of 30 locations and operating 77 frontline apparatus. This is 100% funded by the municipal tax levy.
  • The HFD responds to approximately 89 calls per day.

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