Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) and the Town of Deep River have an historic interim agreement that will see CNL’s Chalk River Laboratories (CRL) Fire Operations provide training, organization and management of the Town’s fire services until June 30, 2018 (media release). Its clear from the media release that both parties see this as a first step toward a longer term partnership that will benefit everyone.
In my words, these benefits could be:
- Better fire protection for Deep River, leveraging CNL’s resources
- Opening new possibilities to address the systemic problems with the Deep River fire department
- Providing opportunities for CNL’s fire operations to earn a greater variety of experience in emergency response by supporting of Deep River’s fire department.
As the long-term partnership is developed, no doubt the parties will see and consider the mutual benefits of merging the departments, which as I have mentioned before, could lead to the sustainable solution that Deep River needs.
Indeed, there are other examples of fire departments that service major nuclear labs as well as the areas around them. The same fire department that services Los Alamos National Lab (USA), for example, also services the entire county around it.
Also, as background, let’s remember that AECL and the town of Deep River have had a mutual aid agreement, which would allow CNL to send firefighters to help in Deep River in the event of an emergency, just like Laurentian Hills has been doing.