Municipalities are responsible for providing fire protection within their boundaries; however, in most municipalities this service is not provided directly by the municipality. In order to provide these very important services, the Municipality of Lunenburg has registered twenty-four Fire Departments within our boundaries to carry out this service. The Towns of Mahone-Bay and Lunenburg also register and provide these services to some areas adjoining their boundaries. These Fire & Emergency Service Providers are staffed fully by volunteers who respond to numerous emergency calls such as fires, traffic accidents, rescue type and other emergency situations, and as Medical First Responders.
To assist these departments with their financial needs, the Municipality collects money separately from the general tax rate. The amount of money collected is based upon a budget that has been submitted by the individual Fire Service Providers. This money is shown on your tax bill notice and is referred to as your “Fire Area Rate” charge. The money collected by the Municipality is then forwarded to the individual Fire Service Providers so that they can maintain and purchase equipment; upkeep their facilities; train their volunteers; pay for subcontracted providers; and, pay for insurance. These are some of the larger costs these Fire Departments have in order to operate an effective volunteer fire service.
The Municipality also has a Fire and Emergency Services Committee that consists of four representatives from Fire Service Providers, four Councillors and two Members at-large. The Committee meets on a regular basis to review fire service matters and appropriate rules and regulations.
Recruitment and Retention
The Municipality launched a
Recruitment and Retention Strategy
that aims to reverse the decline in numbers of Fire Service volunteers in the region.
Read the Fall 2019 Newsletter.
Fire and Emergency services run by volunteer departments are a vital part of the Municipality’s protective services and provide a crucial resource to communities. As a result, Council understands the value of a Fire Service that has active and committed volunteers.
In partnership with the Municipality’s Fire and Emergency Services Committee (FESC), Council identified a strong need for a Recruitment and Retention Strategy to address the challenges associated with attracting potential volunteers. This Recruitment and Retention Strategy is aimed at assisting fire departments with various marketing and communications efforts that will lead to increased volunteerism.
The Municipality will invest up to $60,000 annually in recruitment and retention efforts that will include, but are not limited to:
• The development of specialized marketing materials for fire departments
• Community outreach through attendance of local events
• Recruitment toolkits and packages for departments
• Increased recognition efforts for those who are a part of the region’s Fire Service.
Historical Fire Tax Rates