Blue Line

Town updating service agreements with police, fire

June 13, 2023  By Town of Saugeen Shores

June 13, 2023, Port Elgin, Ont. – The Town of Saugeen Shores is revising and updating policies around its emergency services to make them more transparent and responsive. This includes a new proposed Shared Services Agreement with the Saugeen Shores Police Service (SSPS), and new criteria for activation calls from Bruce County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) for the Saugeen Shores Fire Department (SSFD).

The committee of the whole has recommended that council authorize entering into a Shared Services Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the SSPS. This document specifically outlines how the town supports the service and creates a process to determine when and how to increase that support. This includes town resources ranging from technological support to building maintenance at the police station.

Council members have also recommended revising how and when firefighters respond to EMS calls. A new letter of agreement with Bruce County would see firefighters only respond when there are life-threatening situations such as the absence of vital signs, an overdose or choking. The agreement would also allow firefighters to defer calls where medical assistance is already on scene.

Members have also recommended approving a medical oversight agreement with London Medical Sciences Centre. This agreement would provide training and oversight for firefighters to administer:

  • Defibrillation and/or CPR for cardiac events,
  • Naloxone for opioid overdoses, and
  • Epinephrine for severe allergic reactions.

“As our town grows, it is important we improve emergency service levels while maintaining fiscal responsibility,” said Mayor Luke Charbonneau.  “These agreements will help support our police and fire departments to better respond to critical situations.  Council thanks Chiefs Kevin Zettel and Ed Melanson for their continued service and leadership.”

The Shared Services MOU is ready for the Saugeen Shores Police Board to execute before it heads back to council for final approval and adoption of a by-law. By-laws for both the letter of agreement with Bruce County EMS and the medical oversight agreement with London Medical Service Centre also head to council for approval on June 28th.

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