First reading on fire services bylaw approved

Fire services bylaw passes first reading, allows for town and county fire firefighters to use green flashing lights.

Both town and county firefighters will be able to respond to emergency calls with green flashing lights thanks to the town fire services bylaw matching Ponoka County’s.

First reading was completed on the town’s new fire services bylaw Tuesday, June 14 during the regular meeting of council. The proposed bylaw would repeal the current bylaw, which references the 1997 fire code and was last changed in 2001.

The need for the change was to bring the bylaw up to standard with the 2014 Alberta Fire Code, explained Town of Ponoka Fire Chief Jamie Wilkinson.

A new section in the bylaw includes the prohibition of using explosives such as Tannerite within town limits.

Fireworks, and how they are sold and tracked, was discussed among councillors who appeared to struggle over the restrictions placed on companies that sell them in town.

Among them, fireworks sellers must require buyers to provide their name, address, phone number and where they intend to light the fireworks.

While the extra paperwork may be a hassle for buyers, Wilkinson suggested there is no way to get around it.

He added there was a recent fire along 50 Street believed caused by fireworks and this bylaw addresses fines for offenses and dealing with issues such as arson.

Fire pits were also discussed, specifically with their proper use and height of a fire pit. An opening cannot exceed one metre width and must have enclosed sides made from bricks, concrete blocks, heavy gauge metal or other non combustible materials.

Fire pits must also have spark arrest screens.

“I think it comes down to the irresponsible user rather than the responsible citizen,” said Coun. Loanna Gulka about the proposed bylaw.

Since first reading of the bylaw passed, changes can still be made to it, which is why Coun. Carla Prediger asked that the bylaw be formatted in a way that it is easier to understand.

 

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