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Firefighters rack up OT delivering notices

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Fire department staff worked overtime on the weekend hand-delivering notices to properties at risk of waterline freezing.

Acting chief Bill Clark said 40 uniformed support firefighters — those not involved in firefighting — worked five-hour shifts on Saturday and Sunday, delivering over 3,900 notices to parts of River Heights. Fort Rouge and the North End.

Clark said those staff normally work Monday to Friday in fire prevention and regulation enforcement, adding he believed the situation warranted bringing them in to notify property owners.

"We took action to be able to ensure we notified the residents and properties at risk," Clark said. "The goal was to do a blitz delivery of notices to get that message to them very quickly."

Clark said firefighters will not be involved in hooking up hoses to provide a temporary water supply to affected properties.

Clark downplayed concerns by the union that firefighters are being overworked, handling emergency calls and delivering 20-litre jugs of water to homes without water service.

"The fire paramedic service and our response to the community has not been compromised," Clark said. "We have contingency plans in place."

Clark said the water deliveries are scheduled and handled by firefighters not involved in any calls.

"As the situation changes, we’ll readjust and alter our process as we need to, to ensure we’re remaining effective and not overloading any particular station or crews with work," Clark said.

Clark said firefighters on the weekend were able to deliver jugs of water to every home that requested it.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

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