Colwood, View Royal, Esquimalt, Sidney and North Saanich are considering a move to Fire Dispatch Services provided by the City of Surrey, which is projected to result in more than $1.5M in savings for taxpayers over the next five years. Colwood Council resolved to make the transition at their meeting on March 12, 2018.
After Saanich announced significant rate increases in for their Fire Dispatch Service in November 2017, the five communities put together a joint Request for Proposals to explore options for alternative services. Three proposals were received: the District of Saanich, the CRD/Langford, and the City of Surrey.
Based on a thorough review by Fire Chiefs and Administrative Officers in the five communities, the City of Surrey's submission was recommended to Councils as the preferred proposal, offering experienced services at significant cost savings to local taxpayers. The proposal described the City of Surrey's Fire Dispatch Services to its own forces as well as more than 30 other jurisdictions, using CRD-compatible technology from secure, post-disaster rated facilities.
The Fire Chiefs who reviewed the RFP concluded that a dispatcher in Saanich is no more likely to be familiar with local streets in each of the five municipalities than someone in Surrey. They noted that Surrey delivers effective dispatch services for communities throughout the province, including Squamish Lilloet Regional District and Columbia Shuswap Regional District.
The table below shows the cost breakdowns for each of the three proposals by participating community over the next five years. (Note that Colwood's costs in the Surrey proposal are expected to be further reduced when more comprehensive data on non-emergency after hours calls is taken into account.)