Posted on: August 20, 2020 | Committee News
Cottagers from Falcon, Barren, Star, West Hawk, Hunt, and Caddy Lakes should have received a survey about the service fee in the mail from the South East Whiteshell Fire Department (SEWFD)
The SEWFD has enhanced the community as a recognized leader in providing fire protection services, search and rescue operations, and quick response for assistance in medical incidents as well as critical and non-critical vehicle incidents. Through their training and dedication these fire fighters provide the same level of expertise that you find anywhere in the province by paid full-time staff. These firefighters provide more than 4,800 volunteer hours of training and call outs. The executive team contributes more than 1,000 volunteer hours annually and they do it all for FREE to benefit everyone in south Whiteshell Provincial Park.
Proposal: The SEWFD is proposing an increase of $40 to the current $40 service fee being paid and dedicated to the SEWFD for their services. This would increase the yearly service fee to $80 in support of ongoing SEWFD protection of areas within the Falcon, Barren, Star, West Hawk, Hunt, and Caddy Lakes areas.
The current $40 service fee is dedicated to the operation of the SEWFD but only covers 25% – 30% of the annual operating expenses. SEWFD receives separate donations from approximately 28% of all cottagers, commercial businesses and Special Consideration Organizations within the protection area making it challenging to plan for the future. Having a set annual income to cover operating costs would allow donations to be used for capital equipment to maintain the integrity of a certified fire department.
Having a fire department within the community is beneficial to all. Insurance premiums within 13 kilometers of a fire hall can receive a Fire Hall Proximity Deduction Benefit reducing home/business insurance costs from $110 to as much as $350. In addition to completing the required fire service to ensure that 911 capabilities are available, a pool of 26 trained volunteers firefighters are available and ready 24/7 – 365 days a year for the safety of all.
Two well equipped fire halls with four emergency vehicles, rescue boat, Jaws of Life, special ice rescue equipment, specialized injured hiker equipment, self-contained breathing apparatus units, and much more, ensures appropriate action when required. The SEWFD has enhanced the community and is recognized as both an asset and the cornerstone of safety in the community.
Feedback received from this questionnaire will provide valuable information in seeking approval for the proposed $40 increase to the annual service fee.
The survey has been developed by the South East Whiteshell Fire Department (SEWFD) in partnership with the Whiteshell Cottagers Association in an effort to provide stable funding for operating expenses for the West Hawk and Falcon Lake Fire Halls. It is also available online at the link below