Fire and Paramedic Annual Reports among highlights of Council Meeting

Fire and Paramedic Annual Reports among highlights of Council Meeting
 Fire Chief Matthew Stephenson, pictured on the right at a previous meeting, presented the Fire Services Annual Report to Council on January 22, 2024 (Photo : (Jason Setnyk))

Article by Jason Setnyk

Cornwall, Ontario – At the beginning of the Cornwall City Council meeting on January 22, 2024, Mayor Justin Towndale gave an update about his recent meeting with Steve Jacobsen, the Vice President of Development at Great Wolf Resorts. “We went over the plans for the project, the next steps, and the City of Cornwall’s investment and infrastructure required to support the project,” said Mayor Towndale who dismissed rumour mongering that the project is canceled. “The project is moving forward,” he reiterated. The following are highlights from the council meeting.

Cornwall Fire Services 2023 Annual Report

Cornwall City Council received the 2023 Annual Report from Cornwall Fire Services, emphasizing their commitment to adapt and modernize in response to community needs. Fire Chief Matt Stephenson highlighted the approval of a new state-of-the-art headquarters and training center, replacing the existing Fourth St. W. station.

In the 2023 Annual Fire Report, it was revealed that July and August were the busiest months for Cornwall’s Fire Services. Delving deeper into the data, it emerged that Wednesdays were notably the most demanding days, accounting for 18.03% of the total call volume for the year. Furthermore, the report highlighted specific time frames that saw heightened activity: the hours between 3-4 pm and 5-6 pm were identified as peak periods.

 “Our staff are our greatest asset and, as we move to the future, they will remain so. The City of Cornwall Fire Services is positioned for cautious, informed change. Emergency response will continue to be a primary purpose and focus, but the world of information management provides an opportunity to move forward and establish programs based on a strong foundation of fact and analysis,” said Fire Chief Matt Stephenson in the report’s introduction. 

Cornwall SDG Paramedic Services’ 2023 Annual Review 

The 2023 Annual Review of Cornwall SDG Paramedic Services, presented by Chief Bill Lister, highlights significant developments and ongoing challenges. Serving about 114,000 people across 3000 square kilometers, the paramedic team, consisting of approximately 140 staff, responded to 18,484 emergencies in 2023, marking a 4.68% increase from 2022. The review emphasized the team’s strong performance in emergency response times, particularly in sudden cardiac arrests and life-threatening situations.

A notable 20% increase in opioid overdoses was reported, alongside plans to purchase an additional ambulance, and the need to hire eight more paramedics by 2025 to address the rising demand. While sixteen new part-time paramedics were added this past year. The review also covered the expansion of community paramedic services, including over 6,480 home visits and participation in immunization programs. However, challenges like offload delays at hospitals and the resulting loss of ambulance availability in the community remain concerns, with escalating delays in major urban centers like Ottawa affecting service efficiency.

Integrity Commissioner Clears Councillor McIntosh

Council discussed Integrity Commissioner Report 2023-01 regarding a complaint filed on June 19, 2023, against Councillor Claude McIntosh. The complaint alleged that McIntosh breached the Code of Conduct by disclosing sensitive personal and performance-related information about a city staff member in a published article.

However, the Integrity Commissioner’s investigation found no evidence that McIntosh obtained this information through his role in the municipality, leading to the conclusion that there was no breach of conduct. Consequently, the complaint was dismissed. Council has decided to receive the report and will post it on the City’s website.

More Highlights from the Council Meeting

Cornwall City Council has approved the 2024-02-CAO report adopting a new set of strategic priorities to guide the City’s development from 2023 to 2026. The presentation was prepared and presented by Katherine Wells, Director, Government Relations and Corporate Strategies. However, Councillor Hébert proposed amendments to the vision statement to highlight quality of life and all community partners (not just businesses). At the same time, Councillor Good wanted the words “safe” and “welcome” to have more priority. Subsequently, a Notice of Motion to postpone the adoption of the Mission and Vision statement was passed by a slight majority of Council members.

Next, Council has approved Falcon Home Construction Inc.’s request to remove Part Lot Control from Lot 20 of the Belfort Estates Subdivision, as outlined in Registered Plan 52M-61. Also, Council received and passed Report 2024-02 from Financial Services, detailing the Terms of Reference for Request for Proposal (RFP) 24-P02. This RFP seeks proposals from professional engineering consulting firms to provide environmental monitoring services for the City’s waste disposal sites and snow management facility. 

Share this article