Fire Chief Simon Grypma presented the 2012 fire department budget to city council Friday.
Over the course of 2011, the Nelson Fire Department endured several challenges including the departure of two staff firefighters due to retirement, resulting in a 4 per cent decrease in the 2012 budget compared to last year.
In 2011, the Nelson Fire Department responded to 1106 calls for service, of which 190 were fire calls, 475 were first responder calls, 89 were hazardous materials calls and the rest were miscellaneous calls for service.
Council said that the cost of the first responder service by the Nelson Fire Department so far has been a download from the Provincial Government and is something that they may revisit in the future for provincial funding rather than being covered by the municipality.
Grypma noted that fire suppression however was the largest cost to the City in 2011. The Kerr Apartment fire cost $28,950 in fire fighting costs alone according to Grypma’s presentation. He also added that the 2012 property assessment for the Kerr Apartments dropped to $215,000 from nearly $1.5 million, yielding an estimated loss of about $10,000 in 2012 taxes.
For the upcoming year, Grypma said that Fire inspection and prevention will be a main objective as well as additional training for fire fighters.
In 2011, the Nelson Fire Department achieved zero time loss in workplace injuries for over 6177 hours of on-scene emergency operations.
The fire department also trained five new auxiliary recruits and trained 15 auxiliary members to Fire Fighter 1 certification.