At their regular meeting on Monday, City council passed a resolution to approve the administration of the Joint Quality Management Plan (Joint QMP) for Fire via a new support services agreement between Lacombe County and the remaining member municipalities of the now-dissolved Lacombe Regional Fire Service Association.
“This new agreement between the County and the remaining member municipalities will replace the Association,” said Mayor Steve Christie. “As part of this agreement, Lacombe County has agreed to take on the administration of the City of Lacombe Joint Quality Management Plan for Fire Codes.”
Lacombe County will replace the Regional Association as the plan administrator, which also includes arranging an accredited agency to deliver services if the Lacombe County Fire Chief cannot carry out the designated work. Local fire chiefs and members of the fire department can be designated as a basic Fire Safety Codes Officer (SCO) and will be held accountable to the County via each municipality’s chief administrative officer.
This is the same model that was in place with the Regional Association. The head of the Protective and Environmental Services Department at the County will be the QMP Plan Manager.
“This structure allows each local department to file their own fire reports, investigate the origin, cause, and circumstances of fires, and provided they have the appropriate training, the local officer may be able to conduct fire inspections and take necessary measures to reduce danger to life and property, such as the issuance of orders,” said Corporate Services Director Michael Minchin. “The County Fire Chief will perform these duties on behalf of those departments without such capabilities.”
Other service compliance issues include Fire Safety Plans and Variances. Fire Safety Plans will be administered through the Joint QMP, though Fire Safety Codes Officers in each community will be able to approve them.
Variances, however, can only be issued by a Fire SCO who has the appropriate designation. Variances would be carried out by the County Fire Chief or through a designated agency such as Superior Safety Codes. Variances typically have a cost to them which the City may want to establish a fee to recover the cost.
The Lacombe Regional Fire Service Association delivered administrative services and enforcement of the Alberta Fire Code for its member municipalities since 2000. The administration was carried out through a Joint Quality Management Plan, with the most recent update in 2009.
The Joint Quality Management Plan is an updated version of the 2009 plan and is required by the Safety Codes Council of Alberta. There are no proposed changes to the levels of service indicated in the plan.