HRFE and Enfield Volunteer Fire Department Agreement

Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency (HRFE) and the Enfield Volunteer Fire Department (EVFD) are pleased to announce that we have signed a new agreement between our respective fire services and will continue to work together to provide emergency services to our communities. 

What is happening right now?
Throughout the negotiations, both parties agreed that there would be no changes made to emergency response protocols or to the dispatch services provided by the municipality to EVFD. As a result, citizens of Enfield will see no change to emergency service as the agreement is implemented. This renewed agreement will see the ongoing improvement of service delivery through closer working relationships, shared professional development, training opportunities and the development of common practices, policies, and procedures.

In what area will EVFD respond?
The renewed agreement will see EVFD supported by HRFE 
resources continue to provide emergency response to portions of Fire District 4 (Enfield, Grand Lake, Goffs).  EVFD will be the primary response agency within the yellow areas located between Halifax Stanfield International Airport and the Enfield border.  

This includes the Highway corridor between Exit 6 and 7, with east and west boundaries as follows:
•    Highway 2 to civic address 6367
•    Oldham Road up to civic address 718

Outside of these response areas, both fire services may request the assistance of each other through Mutual Aid request.

An aerial map showing the Enfield Fire coverage changes

Enfield coverage changes

How does HRFE establish service levels for a community?
Firefighting service levels are defined by Halifax Regional Council through Administrative Order (2018-OPS-006) and Emergency Response Time Targets (ERTT). The Fire Chief then deploys resources and adjusts response parameters and apparatus to best achieve these targets.  The Fire Chief may also establish service agreements with other fire services to achieve these targets. 

Summary of the current EERT?

  • Dispatch call processing target: = 90 seconds
  • Turn-out time target (time from firefighter notification to apparatus leaving station):
    • Urban (population > 100 persons per square km) and when Career Firefighters are on-duty = 90 seconds
    • Suburban and Rural- During Volunteer response (population < 100 persons per square km) = 6 minutes 
  • Apparatus travel time target (Station to incident):
    • Urban area - 5 minutes
    • Rural area – 10 minutes
  • Establishing an Effective Firefighting Force (EFF) in Urban Areas only = 8 minutes

Example: Incident in Rural area when volunteers are responding
        Dispatch Call processing time         90 sec
        Turn-out time (Volunteers home to Station)     6 minutes
        Apparatus Travel Time (Station to incident)     10 minutes
        Total response Time Target            17.5 minutes  

Example: Incident in Rural area when career staff are responding
        Dispatch Call processing time            90 sec
        Turn-out time (career staff present)         90 Sec 
        Apparatus Travel Time (Station to incident)     10 minutes
        Total response Time Target            13 minutes  

*When HRFE is not hitting these targets 90 per cent of the time, additional staffing may be warranted, or the Fire Chief may establish service agreements with other fire services.
How did we get here?
Despite the pandemic, representatives of HRFE and EVFD continued to negotiate toward the renewing of this service agreement.  The previous agreement between the two services was established in 2004 and it is a normal industry practice not only to develop mutual aid agreements, but to review and revise these agreements when service needs change. 
HRFE has many other mutual aid agreements in place along our borders that we continue to review and update going forward. “Mutual Aid” agreements allow each department to come to the aid of the other when requested for emergency response.