A review will be completed in 2020 looking into the feasibility of joining the Parksville and Qualicum Beach fire rescue departments. (NEWS file photo)

Parksville, Qualicum Beach look at joint management of fire rescue departments

Fire services review to be completed in 2020

Qualicum Beach and Parksville are working together on fire rescue operations.

The City of Parksville and the Town of Qualicum Beach have announced their intention to conduct a comprehensive fire services review, which will focus on the feasibility of creating a fire commission for the joint management and operations of the respective departments.

In addition, the review will provide recommendations for the optimal governance structure for an Oceanside Protective Services Commission, including terms of reference for the commission as well as appropriate funding model options. This process will include dialogue with the Regional District of Nanaimo and the regional fire departments.

In June, Parksville Fire Chief Marc Norris was appointed chief for Qualicum Beach and Parksville in a shared capacity. Since this time, the municipalities have been teaming up to find mutually beneficial opportunities for both departments.

The Parksville and Qualicum Beach fire departments have distinct identities; however, each department is running similar administrative, training, equipment maintenance, purchasing, fire prevention programs and retention/recognition programs. For the first time, the two departments are collaborating on the firefighter member recruitment campaign.

The cost of the review, to be completed in 2020, will be shared between the city and the town.

READ MORE: Qualicum Beach and Parksville to share a fire chief

“The Town of Qualicum Beach and the City of Parksville have been diligently building a strong working relationship which supports this innovative opportunity. We look forward to receiving the results of the fire services review later this year,” said Parksville Mayor Ed Mayne and Qualicum Beach Mayor Brian Wiese in a press release.

— NEWS Staff

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