The Gleaner

Hinchinbrooke Volunteer Fire Brigade will cover all of Elgin

A longstanding agreement between the municipality of Elgin and the Constable Volunteer Fire Department from Constable, New York, has come to an end.

On April 5, the members of the Elgin municipal council signed an intermunicipal agreement with the municipality of Hinchinbrooke, mandating the Volunteer Fire Brigade to provide fire safety services throughout the territory of Elgin for a period of five years.

Previously, Elgin had relied on a collaboration with the Hinchinbrooke Volunteer Fire Brigade and the Constable Volunteer Fire Department for fire safety services. This responsibility will now fall exclusively on the volunteer firefighters in Hinchinbrooke. When necessary, Elgin will continue to rely on the human and material resources provided by surrounding fire departments and members of the South-West Quebec Mutual Aid Fire Association, and the Franklin County Fire Services in New York state.

In a press release issued by the municipality of Elgin, Mayor Deborah Stewart says she is pleased with this collaboration. “This agreement provides the necessary security for our citizens,” she says, noting the partnership clearly demonstrates the municipality’s commitment to offering citizens the best possible emergency services available as required by law.

Elgin’s director general, Guylaine Carrière, says the intermunicipal agreement makes sense for the municipality. It allows Elgin to honour all the requirements set out in the MRC du Haut Saint-Laurent’s Fire Safety Cover Plan, which requires, among other things, that at least eight firefighters be available to respond to a fire within 25 minutes and with a minimum of 15,000 litres of water. Carrière says working with a single fire department means the municipality can ensure optimal protection for all its residents while cutting back on the workload required to manage two agreements.

Carrière confirms the resolution to sign the agreement was passed unanimously by the council. “It was not a decision that was taken lightly,” she says, noting the municipality has partnered with the Constable Volunteer Fire Department for years and is very grateful for their service.

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