March 2007 - Alberta - Calgary arson police officers say they could be without their firefighter partners for up to a year due to staffing shortages.
December 14, 2007
By Fire Fighting in Canada
March 2007 – Alberta – Calgary arson police officers say they could be without their firefighter partners for up to a year due to staffing shortages.
Traditionally, three detectives partnered with three specially trained firefighters to investigate arson and suspicious fires on a joint-forces team.
But sources tell the Calgary Sun only one firefighter has remained in the unit, due to an excessive workload, and he’ll likely be leaving by the end of the month.
Fire department Deputy Chief Gord Sweetnam says, like most organizations in the city, they are strained by a lack of resources.
Sweetnam says if firefighters who are already trained to work in the arson unit apply for the position, they could partnered with the police within several months.
But he says to train firefighters from scratch could mean a delay of 18 months until someone’s ready to move into the unit.
“I’m hoping for the best and that we get some good candidates,” he said.
The joint-forces arson team has been in existence for about 30 years and is one of the most successful partnerships between the police and fire department, said acting Staff Sgt. Sam Newson.
“The partnership is absolutely paramount,” said Newson. “The co-operation is much higher between the two agencies.”
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