The board of directors of the Windsor Elms Village (WEV) is gravely concerned that the West Hants Municipal Council has failed to resolve its contractual impasse with the Windsor Fire Department to provide emergency and fire services in our southwestern portion of this municipality. This delay to positively reach a solution has a potential to directly and negatively impact the security and safety of our residents, staff and visitors at the WEV.
We are a 108-bed nursing home, which houses some of the most vulnerable citizens of our community. In addition, we are responsible for up to 75 staff on site and the many family and community members who visit our home daily. We are a modern, well-designed and protected facility and our well-trained staff provides responsible care for our residents. However, we rely upon the quality and timeliness of our fire protection and emergency response services to do everything necessary in the event of emergencies.
In a care facility such as ours, a timely and adequate response can make a life or death difference to our residents. We have been tragically reminded by recent events elsewhere how much every second counts. We cannot allow emergency services to be diminished.
Recognizing the importance of this issue to our stakeholders, our board began communicating last July with the West Hants council and warden, the Windsor Fire Department Executive, and the mayor and council of Windsor on this matter. We have carefully listened to everyone and then shared our concerns and observations of the issues in person and in writing. Our position continues to be one strongly opposed to any change from, or reduction in capability of, current emergency and fire response provided by the Windsor Fire Department.
We cannot remain silent to the public on how inappropriate it is for West Hants council to rely on Windsor Fire Department services for roughly one full year and not provide any payments for that service, irrespective of not having agreed to a contract. A substantial advance of our tax dollars collected for this service needs to be made immediately. West Hants places our services at risk through this payment issue. Time is of the essence for the resolution of this basic issue.
We are committed to supporting a timely solution that will allow a continuing level of emergency response time and maintain the quality of response which is currently in place.
We are making a public appeal. We ask that all residents and businesses in the Municipality of West Hants request of your councillors for the municipality to do the right thing: pay its liabilities, and settle this matter in such a way that will retain current service levels.
Chair of the Windsor Elms Village Board
CAO of Windsor Elms Village