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Nunavut unveils $1 million fire protection strategy

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Rankin Inlet (Dec 06/04) - The Government of Nunavut will spend $1 million this fiscal year to battle the ever-increasing cost of fire damage in the territory.

The government introduced the Nunavut Fire Protection Strategy Implementation Plan during the recent sitting of the legislative assembly.

The plan outlines a comprehensive approach to improving community fire-prevention and response efforts in Nunavut.

Fire chiefs from across Nunavut had input into the plan, said Department of Community and Government Services assistant deputy minister Shawn Maley.

"We recognized early in the process that we had to increase training for our firefighters and upgrade their equipment," said Maley.

The fire-protection strategy is designed to provide better support for fire chiefs, increase public awareness of fire services and prevention programs and work closely with the Juvenile Fire Setter program. It will also help improve maintenance procedures and compile and publish annual fire loss statistics and information on prevention activities.

"When you look at the losses from the Repulse Bay community centre and the Clyde River fire hall, those alone were enough to show we needed to develop a strategy to improve our fire-prevention capabilities," Maley said.

"This new strategy will help ensure we're better prepared to fight fire loss -- both through education and awareness, and with improved early warning and actual firefighting equipment."