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Mission firefighter advocates for more staff and equipment at council meeting

Rich Rangers advocated to council for more staff and equipment with additional firefighters present
Mission firefighter Rich Rangers spoke to council on Monday night (Feb. 6) in favour of a new spending package for the 2023 budget that would allow the hiring of four full-time firefighters. /Web Photo

The Mission Fire Rescue Service (MFRS) is looking for funding to expand their capabilities.

The city’s mayor and council received public feedback about the proposed $99 million municipal budget at Monday’s (Feb. 6) council meeting.

Rich Rangers, a firefighter with MFRS, spoke to council in favour of a $320,625 new spending package that would add a medical truck and four full-time firefighters to the city’s arsenal. More members of the fire department were in attendance to support the initiative.

Rangers says the strain on the department continues to increase with calls almost doubling every five years. MFRS attended 3,480 calls in 2022, up from 1,898 in 2015.

“As the city grows, so should your fire department and the need to hire more full-time firefighters,” Rangers said. “It’s also important that the frontline firefighters of the city continue to feel supported by council.”

MFRS has 16 career firefighters and Rangers says the workload on full-time staff could lead to burnout and mental health issues.

The addition would be the largest of the new spending packages up for consideration. The proposed expenditures that council will contemplate total $821,614 and are not included in the $99 million proposed budget.

The council also received results after the City of Mission held a budget information session on Jan. 25 and invited residents to provide input on the proposed 2023 budget and 2023-2027 financial plan.

The session, held at the Boswyck Centre, was attended by 24 residents and provided an opportunity for attendees to ask questions and voice their concerns.

READ MORE: Mission proposes $99 million budget for 2023

The City of Mission also invited public input through an online survey, which received 220 responses.

According to a report to council, survey results showed that the majority of respondents voted to maintain the community grant budget, additional Mission Leisure Centre holiday closures, and the annual one per cent capital construction increase.

Meanwhile, the majority of respondents voted to eliminate or reduce the public art budget, conference costs for council and training budgets for staff.

The City of Mission is in the process of finalizing its 2023 budget and 2023-2027 financial plan with the next round of meetings set to start Feb. 15.


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Dillon White

About the Author: Dillon White

I joined the Mission Record in November of 2022 after moving to B.C. from Nova Scotia earlier in the year.
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