Practice makes perfect. Training is key as the Lake Cowichan Fire Department crew get used to their new rescue equipment on Jan. 18 at Little Beach.

Practice makes perfect. Training is key as the Lake Cowichan Fire Department crew get used to their new rescue equipment on Jan. 18 at Little Beach.

Town of Lake Cowichan council confusion at fire department payments, water training costs

LCFD: McGonigle confused at why town paid for water training

There has been some slight confusion at the Town of Lake Cowichan council table towards the payments allotted to the Lake Cowichan Fire Department.

LCFD is volunteer-based thus submits its bills for incidents each month to the town to pay.

That bill comes forward at the regular council meeting every month.

At last week’s CLEC, Lakeview and Fire Department Committee meeting at the town hall, Coun. Bob Day who chaired the meeting prompted a discussion on fire department payments.

“I couldn’t help but notice at a lot of the recent approval of the fire department’s payment at our council meetings that I was the only council member who put their hand up to approve the payment,” said Day. “That shows there is some hesitation at the table and perhaps there’s some concern on council about the expenses being paid out.

“I understand that keeping a hand down is a yes vote but usually all the hands go up or at least two or three.”

Despite Day’s attempts to engage the table, only Coun. Tim McGonigle responded.

“I have some concerns.” said McGonigle. “My concerns are under the training addition. My understanding was that the water training, once the fire department acquired the new boat, would be fundraised for. I saw that $2,000 recently was brought back to the table for water training. Maybe I was mistaken. In the future I think we should allocate money in our budget for water training and that will protect the Town of Lake Cowichan as well.

“Those costs are adding to the fire department budget. I would never not approve the requisition at the meetings but I do have some concerns. My understanding that some of the new equipment and training would be paid for by donations, but I understand say if we are gifted a park or a wharf then we still have to maintain it. I do respect every one of the members of the fire department for the time they put in to protect the community. It’s an excellent service.”

Mayor Ross Forrest, Coun. Jayne Ingram, Coun. Frank Hornbrook, finance director Ronnie Gill, chief administrator Joe Fernandez and superintendent Nagi Rizk were all present at the meeting.