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Newly approved Waterloo Fire Master Plan calls for expanded stations, more staff


The City of Waterloo has answered a call for help from its firefighters.

City council unanimously approved an updated fire master plan at a Monday night meeting.

"Our department and firefighters are being asked to do more with less,” Adam Overgaard, president of the Waterloo Professional Firefighters Association, said at the meeting. "Juggling an ever-increasing call volume, while still maintaining the same level of service and quality of care that our community deserves.”

"We cannot continue in this manner without risking our safety and the safety of those that we serve."

Electric vehicle fires and high-rise fires were outlined by officials as some of the emerging challenges crews face on the job.

"The story and understanding around electric vehicles is [the fires] don't necessarily go out when you think they go out," said Waterloo Fire Chief Richard Hepditch. "They can reignite in 24 to 72 hours, if I'm not mistaken, so they are a risk."

The updated plan includes recommendations to:

  • Expand Stations One and Two to accommodate additional vehicles, equipment and staff
  • Strengthen the tracking and evaluation of call types and response efficiency
  • Improve the records system and work with 9-1-1 and other emergency services to improve dispatch
  • Hire 27 new staff over the next several years, including firefighters and administrative staff

Council will discuss funding for the updated plan at a meeting on Dec. 11. Top Stories

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