City blasts accusations of sub-standard fire department

In this Feb. 2, 2015, file photo, a fire truck sits outside the Brookdale Arms apartment complex on Brookdale Avenue. (Newswatch Group/File)

CORNWALL – The city is fighting accusations its fire department is “negligent” or “substandard.”

The city issued a release Thursday following several Cornwall media reports with inferences from the Cornwall Professional Firefighters Association the fire department wasn’t meeting certain benchmarks.

In the release, the city says “that is simply not the case” and that the department is well-trained and has state-of-the-art equipment.

According to the city, the response time for the average fire call is four minutes.

Fire Chief Richard McCullough says he’s proud of that figure and McCullough is being backed by Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessey and CAO Norm Levac.

Chief McCullough says he has always tried to improve morale and enhance lines of communication with the chief’s office.

McCullough also attempted to clear up some misunderstanding. The chief says he sought the Ontario Fire Marshal review of the department with the support of the Cornwall Professional Firefighters Association.

Association President Jason Crites had told Cornwall Newswatch it was the CAO, Norm Levac, who had initiated the review.

McCullough says the fire master plan, expected very soon, will address shortcomings that have not been addressed by the fire service.

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