February 2, 2017; Liverpool, NS: Concerns for safety and a decline in volunteerism has led two long standing Region of Queens Municipality’s volunteer fire departments to take steps to amalgamate. The Charleston Volunteer Fire Department has started the process of filing paperwork to transfer its assets to the Mill Village Fire Department. Both fire departments have seen declining membership for several years; the current level of 10 in at the Charleston Department is not a safe quotient. Public safety and volunteer capacity will be improved in Charleston, Mill Village and District through the amalgamation.
“We are supportive of the difficult choice that the Charleston and Mill Village Fire Departments have made to amalgamate their two forces. Ensuring community safety and the safety of their volunteer fire fighters was the primary concern of the Charleston Department when they approached the Mill Village Department,” said David Dagley, Mayor of the Region of Queens Municipality. “The Fire Departments have been significant to community life in Charleston and Mill Village for generations. The Region of Queens has a great deal of respect for the foresight and community spirit of those who established the departments many years ago. We also thank all the volunteers past and present who gave tirelessly of their time to support the Charleston Fire Department and wish the current members of both departments well as they work through this partnership.”
Once the Charleston and Mill Village Fire Departments determined that amalgamation of the two departments was the route to take, Municipal staff met with the Fire Chiefs to discuss maintaining the current level of municipal funding. Fire trucks will be temporality stored at the Charleston Volunteer Fire Department until renovations have been completed to house them at the Mill Village Department. Assets from the sale of the Charleston Fire Hall and its lands will be used to fund the expansion of the Fire Hall, and applied toward new equipment.
There is expected to be little change in the delivery of fire protection services under the amalgamation, as the two departments are located less than 4 km apart. The total number of structures in the amalgamated fire protection area is 507, which was formerly distributed as 190 for the Charleston Volunteer Fire Department and 317 in Mill Village.