Letters: Firefighters actually get increase

Sooke Councillor talks of actual raise in funding for volunteers

In response to the letter from Jason Dixon, “Budgets slashed for zero per cent,” Sooke News Mirror, May 16, 2012.

Council has actually increased the amount of funding per firefighter for training, and also increased other funding to Sooke volunteer firefighters and fire prevention services, all while finding savings in order to achieve a zero per cent tax increase.

When the Finance and Administration Committee met to look at this year’s budget for firefighting services, Fire Chief Steve Sorensen made a presentation to the committee that said there were 29 volunteers this year, compared to 40 last year (there was a reported high of 53). We also factored in three students, so this year’s budget was based on a total of 32 volunteers.

This year’s budget for firefighter training ($20,000) works out to an average of $625 per volunteer, compared to only $536 per volunteer spent in 2011 ($21,472).

In addition, we increased funding to the Firefighters’ Association from $30,000 to $35,000, their first increase in five years. We also increased funding for the volunteer firefighters’ duty officer from $14,300 to $24,300, and raised first response duty remuneration from $14,300 to $24,300. This is an increase of $25,000 over the 2011 budget in these three areas alone.

Finally, all of these discussions were done in public, and we were pleased to see volunteer firefighters attending the meetings and providing input.

We worked together with Chief Sorensen to develop the final budget and training amounts, and Chief Sorensen supported and agreed to the changes. Council and the community support our volunteers, and we remain committed to providing essential funding for fire prevention services.

Rick Kasper,

Councillor

Chair, Finance and Administration

Committee

District of Sooke

Just Posted

$11 million overdraw for McKenzie Interchange construction

The project has been delayed multiple times and is now estimating a budget of $96 million

Alzheimer Society calls for helpline volunteers in Greater Victoria

Charity is in ‘urgent need’ as calls on the rise

Council pursues water line extension for north Sooke

Properties affected by Highway 14 project may see water service

Juan de Fuca Marine Trail re-opens after lengthy repairs

The trail has been closed since February

Convicted drug trafficker asks Victoria courtroom for chance to ‘turn this around’

Horst Schirmer sentenced for convictions on five counts of possession related to trafficking

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

Man to be sentenced for sexual abuse of young girl in Nanaimo

Stephen Mark Castleden also sentenced for child pornography-related charges

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

VIDEO: Firefighters stop blaze from spreading after BMW crashes at Saratoga Speedway

Victoria-based businessmen were ‘corner training’ on Father’s Day when incident took place

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

POLL: Do you support the government’s decision to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion?

The federal government announced Tuesday its approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline… Continue reading

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

Ginger Goodwin’s Cumberland cemetery grave desecrated

Just days before the Miners Memorial weekend, Ginger Goodwin’s grave has been… Continue reading

Most Read