NEWS RELEASE MOOSE JAW August 14, 2015 City receives allocation from Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board MOOSE JAW – The City of Moose Jaw recently received a one-time payment of $148,617.45 from the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board. The Compensation Board had a financial surplus that exceeded their allowable amount, resulting in an allocation of funds to all member employers whose net premiums were greater than their claims costs between 2011 and 2013. The amount of the payment was based on 2013 premiums. The City will use its allocation to reduce overall operating costs. “It’s a nice bonus for us, and one that reflects the results of our increased focus on safety over the last few years,” said Matt Noble, City Manager. After hiring its first safety officer in 2009, Diane Campbell, the City has made significant shifts toward becoming a safer place of employment. Initiatives introduced have included a comprehensive return-to-work and accommodation program, an increase in employee safety technical training, implementation of a new personal protective equipment policy, an improved incident reporting system and development of safe trenching and excavating codes of practice. Days lost to injury have been reduced significantly for the City of Moose Jaw (see attached chart). In 2009, 1,221 days were lost to injury by City workers. In 2014, only 26 days were lost to injury. In 2009, 29 incidents resulted in time lost from work. In 2014, only seven incidents resulted in time lost from work. “We are exceptionally proud of our much-improved safety record,” said Noble. “We can boast of a safer work environment, and the associated cost-savings provide a benefit to all residents of Moose Jaw.” City of Moose Jaw Injuries Reported Year Injuries with Lost Time Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate Days Lost 2009 29 9.12 1221 2010 28 9.08 762 2011 23 6.65 452 2012 9 5.17 95 2013 8 3.39 71 2014 7 2.38 26 Media Contact: Al Bromley, Director of Human Resources City of Moose Jaw PHONE # (306) 694-4464 firstname.lastname@example.org
NEWS RELEASE MOOSE JAW July 28, 2015 CHANGES TO MOOSE JAW FIRE DEPARTMENT MOOSE JAW – The Personnel Committee of Moose Jaw City Council passed a number of motions at a meeting that occurred following the regular meeting of City Council on Monday, July 27, 2015. Provincial Emergency Communications Centre The first motion was related to the decision to utilize the Provincial Emergency Communications Centre for the Fire Department’s Dispatch Services. “This is a change that brings our Dispatch Service to a level that matches fire services across the province,” said Deputy Fire Chief Brian Wilson. “The technological enhancements and ability to respond more quickly will improve safety to the residents of Moose Jaw,” he added. This change will enhance safety by reducing the amount of time required to dispatch firefighters. Before this change, all 911 calls originating in Moose Jaw were being answered by the Provincial Call Centre and were then being transferred to Moose Jaw`s local centre where the caller would have to repeat the information initially given. By eliminating that step in the process and utilizing the technological improvements offered by the Provincial Call Centre, service to the public and fire safety will be vastly improved. The Provincial Call Centre has a minimum of seven dispatchers available at all times. The local call centre only ever had one staff member at a time. Office Manager Position The second motion was related to the filling of an Office Manager position for the Fire Department. The person in that role will lead the Fire Department in administrative tasks such as handling confidential personnel files, assisting with the budgeting process, and answering inquiries from the public. Fire Department Mechanic The third motion directed Administration to leave the Fire Department`s Mechanic position vacant. The City’s existing Fleet Services has been performing these duties on a full-time basis since the position became vacant in April and had been assisting and filling in with these tasks prior to the position being vacant on a permanent basis. The City’s Fleet Services will maintain a routine maintenance schedule, and any specialized work required of the Fire Department’s fleet will be outsourced to shops with specialized equipment, which is the same process that existed when there was an in-house mechanic. Responsibility for Staffing The fourth motion transferred the responsibility for setting manning levels from City Council to the Fire Department. The change will give the Fire Department greater flexibility to appropriately staff the Department in the manner they determine to best fit the public’s requirements. “It’s highly unusual for Council to dictate specific manning levels for a City department, as was the case here in Moose Jaw with the Fire Department for many years,” said Mayor Deb Higgins. “Council sets budgets and expectations of levels of service. Ultimately, it’s up to the experts in that department to determine how to best meet those service levels,” she added. Funding for These Changes The fifth and final motion directed Administration to reallocate funds within the Fire Department as necessary to put into place the changes from the first four motions. A list of the technological, operational, and organizational improvements being implemented along with their associated costs is attached. Media Contact: Brian Wilson, Deputy Fire Chief City of Moose Jaw PHONE # (306) 692 2792 email@example.com The following is a list of technological, organizational, and operational improvements that the Moose Jaw Fire Department has started to implement. These improvements will update the City’s Fire Department to match the current standard across the industry. These are not annual costs. In the future, most of the anticipated $240,000 in annual savings will result in lower operational costs for the Fire Department while the enhancements will increase public safety and service to the public. Computer-Aided Dispatch Licensing – $20,000 The licensing for CAD software will equip the Moose Jaw Fire Department with the ability to receive information from a call immediately to the Fire Department’s vehicles. Information such as the call address, nature of the call, property information, information on vulnerable occupants, closest hydrants and routes to the call including updated road closures. Computer and Docking Stations – $36,000 The hardware will be installed in the Fire Department’s vehicles to be able to receive the information from the new Computer-Aided Dispatch system. Tele-staff – $32,000 With this new system, call-outs will be automated and allow the Fire Department to appropriately staff major events much faster. For example, a major fire that requires more firefighters will now be able to staff an additional truck for the fire much more quickly. Presently, during major events, call-outs to increase staffing levels occur manually. It involves going down a list of all the firefighters and calling each of them individually to attend the event. Provincial Emergency Communications Centre contract costs for remainder of 2015 – $20,000 Callers of 911 were already connected to the provincial call centre by default. By utilizing the provincial centre for Moose Jaw’s calls, the step of transferring emergency calls to a local call centre will remove a step in the process of responding to calls, allowing for a faster response time. With a minimum of seven dispatchers on staff at all points in time, there is greater redundancy for 911 calls in Moose Jaw. The Moose Jaw dispatch centre only had a minimum of one staff member available at a time. Every Fire Department in Saskatchewan except Regina and Saskatoon utilizes a centralized dispatch centre. Update phone system – $10,000 The new phone system will include the ability to handle non-emergent calls, including the ability to send text messages to out-of-office personnel. Presently, non-emergency phone messages are distributed manually by pen and paper, an unreliable system for the public looking to have their calls addressed and for personnel who are often out of the fire hall. 15 Wing Alarm System – $12,000 The Fire Department’s responsibilities include monitoring the fire alarms for Canadian Forces Base 15-Wing. This cost is associated with properly equipping the Provincial Emergency Communications Centre with the hardware to continue to monitor those alarms. Severance and the hiring of an Office Manager position – Dollar value is confidential Will work with the Moose Jaw Professional Firefighters Association Local 553 toward the hiring of an office manager position to lead administrative work of the Fire Department. Will work with the Firefighters’ Association and impacted employees with a view to a fair settlement based on past service.
NEWS RELEASE MOOSE JAW July 17, 2015 CHANGES TO MOOSE JAW FIRE DEPARTMENT MOOSE JAW – The Moose Jaw Fire Department has undertaken changes in an effort to improve public safety to residents of Moose Jaw. Effective Friday, July 17, 2015, all fire calls to 911 originating from Moose Jaw will be dispatched from the province-wide 911 dispatch centre in Prince Albert, SK (PA911). Equipped with a minimum of seven staff members at all times, this new Dispatch Centre for the City of Moose Jaw will be able to enhance safety to Moose Jaw residents 24 hours a day. With this change, Regina and Saskatoon will be the only Fire Departments in Saskatchewan whose Fire Departments have an internal Dispatch Centre. “The cost for us locally to staff the Moose Jaw Fire Department Dispatch Centre with more than one person is prohibitive,” said Moose Jaw Fire Chief Rod Montgomery, who has been a firefighter in the City of Moose Jaw for 25 years. “Ensuring there are always at least seven people answering calls enhances public safety for our residents.” PA911 is already the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for 911 calls throughout the province, with the exception of Regina and Saskatoon. This means that when someone calls 911 to report an emergency, all of these calls initially go to the PA911 Call Centre, and are then routed to the local Dispatch Centre. With this change, 911 calls will not have to be routed to Moose Jaw, quickening the time with which the local Fire Department can respond. “By having the same Centre that receives the 911 call also dispatch our firefighters, we believe we can improve our response times to life threatening emergencies”, Montgomery said. Prince Albert’s Dispatch Centre will also be able to provide improved technology that will increase safety locally including: The ability to text 911. Improved services for the hearing impaired and other disabled 911 callers. Computer-aided dispatch that will provide firefighters with GPS routes, updated road closures, and other up-to-date information while responding to calls. Existing secondary and tertiary redundant dispatch centres in the event of a dispatch centre compromise. “These are modern technologies. With this change, the level of service for residents in Moose Jaw will match, if not exceed, what’s available in the rest of Saskatchewan,” said Chief Montgomery. Coupled with the Dispatch Centre changes, the Fire Department will be adding a new position to the Department’s complement at the North Fire Hall to staff the front counter during business hours. “This person will be charged with not only assisting with administration, but also answering inquiries from the public and will help ensure Moose Jaw residents receive the best possible level of service,” said Chief Montgomery. Media Contact: Rod Montgomery, Fire Chief City of Moose Jaw PHONE # (306) 692-2792 firstname.lastname@example.org
NEWS RELEASE MOOSE JAW June 22, 2015 CITY OF MOOSE JAW ANNOUNCES COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER MOOSE JAW – The City of Moose Jaw is pleased to announce it has hired its first Communications Manager, Wilbur McLean. McLean arrives from the City of Medicine Hat, where he has spent the past five years as a Communications Officer. McLean begins work with the City of Moose Jaw on Wednesday, June 24, 2015. Originally from Toronto, McLean began his career as a newspaper and radio reporter, spending time in Quebec and Eastern Ontario before transitioning to the Prairies, where he worked with a rural school division in southern Alberta before his time with the City of Medicine Hat. His experience includes acting as public information officer for two flood emergencies in southern Alberta, and working to effectively communicate a variety of major projects to the public in Medicine Hat such as smart metering, solar and wind projects by the City, and other activities involving the City of Medicine Hat’s unique Energy Services Division. “Our commitment to our citizens is transparency and accountability”, said Matt Noble, City Manager. “The Communication Manager will increase the City’s ability to better serve the residents of Moose Jaw by improving the means and frequency with which the City interacts with the community at large”, he added. McLean can be followed on Twitter @wilmclean. Media Contact: Matt Noble, City Manager City of Moose Jaw PHONE # (306) 694-4427 email@example.com
Bathroom: Turn off the faucet while brushing teeth or shaving; only use water when you need to rinse. Reduce the time you spend in the shower – even if it is just a minute or two. Turn off the shower when you are shampooing. If you use the tub, bathe in only a few centimetres of water instead of a full tub. Kitchen: Use the dishwasher only when there is a full load. Do not pre-rinse dishes – most modern dishwashers do not require this step. When washing by hand, use a basin to rinse dishes instead of using running water. Pour yourself a drink of cold water from a pitcher from the fridge instead of running the tap. Wash fruits and vegetables in a partially filled sink instead of rinsing them under running water. Laundry Room: Wash clothes only when there is a full load. Outdoors: Use a broom instead of a hose to remove debris from your driveway or sidewalk. Bathe your pets outdoors in areas that need water. Install a shut-off nozzle on your water hose; a garden hose left running can waste up to 20 litres per minute. Water your lawn and gardens once a week. Follow an odd-even watering schedule. Water in the morning or late evening to avoid evaporation during the heat of the day. When watering your lawn, ensure the spray does not reach your sidewalk or driveway. Use drip irrigation for trees and shrubs. Direct downspouts towards shrubs and trees. Use mulch around trees and plants to reduce evaporation. Allow your grass to grow slightly taller to promote water retention in the soil. The most important water saving tip is to regularly check for leaks around your home. A leaking toilet or faucet can cost you hundreds of dollars a year.
NEWS RELEASE MOOSE JAW April 28, 2015 OFF-LEASH DOG PARK IS OPEN! MOOSE JAW – It’s official!! The City of Moose Jaw’s Off-Leash Bark Park is open and ready for your furry friends to use. The new Bark Park includes two separate enclosed areas – one for small dogs under 18 inches and a larger dog area for those over 18 inches. The Park is the first of its kind in Moose Jaw that allows the opportunity for dogs to run and play off-leash. Park amenities include accessible pathways & parking stalls, benches, doggie doo bag stations, trash receptacles and a few “tunnels” to play hide and seek in. A water tap will also be provided and installed at a later date. Some areas of the Park that were recently developed will take a bit of time for the natural grasses to grow back. In the fall of 2014, the City initiated construction of the Park with the remainder of the work being completed within the last month. The Park is located in Hamilton Flats on the 1500 block of Manitoba Street West. Dog owners are encouraged to get out and enjoy the new off-leash Park. “Rules and regulation signs are posted at the entrance to both the small and large dog park areas, and residents are encouraged to familiarize themselves with these rules for the full enjoyment of all users,” said Kelly Mentanko, Operations Manager. “There are some very basic rules like please pick up after your dogs, owners must carry a leash at all times, dogs must have a valid City licence and dogs must be in view of their owners and under their control at all times,” he added. The City of Moose Jaw would like to encourage users to provide their feedback on the Off-Leash Dog Park to the Parks & Recreation Department. Media Contact: Kelly Mentanko, Operations Manager City of Moose Jaw PHONE # (306) 694-4447 firstname.lastname@example.org
NEWS RELEASE MOOSE JAW April 17, 2015 PROVINCIAL DISASTER ASSISTANCE PROGRAM 2015 FLOOD EVENT APPROVED MOOSE JAW – The City of Moose Jaw has just received notification from the Ministry of Government Relations that the flood event that occurred on the dates March 17 to 19, 2015 will be recognized by the Province under the Provincial Disaster Assistance Program (PDAP) as a claim event eligible for disaster relief. Residents who experienced property damage during the March 17 to19, 2015 flood event are eligible to submit claim applications up to September 19, 2015. To qualify, a property owner must apply and submit the following: (1) denial of insurance coverage from their insurance carrier; (2) a statement indicating the claim resulted from the flood damage which occurred in and around March 17 to 19, 2015; (3) a copy of the applicant’s driver’s license; and (4) a copy of their 2015 property tax assessment. Any residents who may be eligible can obtain application forms from the City Manager’s Office, 2nd Floor, City Hall. Information on procedures and property eligibility can be found on the government website at: http://gr.gov.sk.ca/BeforeYouApply or http://gr.gov.sk.ca/AfterYouApply Residents can also contact PDAP directly by calling 1-866-632-4033. Media Contact: Matt Noble, City Manager City of Moose Jaw PHONE # (306) 694-4427 email@example.com
NEWS RELEASE MOOSE JAW April 17, 2015 CITY OF MOOSE JAW AND MOOSE JAW FIREFIGHTERS’ ASSOCIATION LOCAL #553 INTEREST ARBITRATION AWARD HANDED DOWN MOOSE JAW – Arbitration Chair, A. Robson Garden, issued an Interest Arbitration Award for the City of Moose Jaw and the Moose Jaw Fire Fighters’ Association, International Association of Firefighters, Local 553. The Firefighters have been without a contract since December 31, 2010. The binding Award results in a 13% wage increase and covers the period from January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2014. Wage increases for a First Class Firefighter shall increase January 1, 2011 by 2% and by 2.1% July 1, 2011; shall increase January 1, 2012 by 2% and .8% July 1, 2012; shall increase January 1, 2013 by 2% and 1.1% July 1, 2013; and shall increase by 3% January 1, 2014. As well, a .5% increase to pension contributions shall be retroactive to January 1, 2011. Going forward, an additional .5% shall be allocated for health and dental benefits. “This recent arbitration process will have significant retroactive costs,” said City Manager Matt Noble. “We accept this Award and we are pleased we can now update the Collective Agreement with our professional firefighters until the end of 2014. Regrettably, it means this Collective Agreement has already expired,” said Noble. “The decision adds to the increasing cost of providing tax-supported emergency services and reinforces the need to address this fiscal challenge on a community and province-wide basis,” he added. The City, in its presentation to the Arbitration Board, addressed the criteria pursuant to the newly-proclaimed Saskatchewan Employment Act and was the first municipality to have an Interest Arbitration Award heard under these new provisions. The Interest Arbitration Hearing took place in Moose Jaw from October 6 to 8, 2014. Bruce Siemens was the Firefighters’ Association Nominee while Kenneth Cornea was the City’s Nominee. The City was represented by its Counsel, John Saunders. Media Contact: Matt Noble, City Manager City of Moose Jaw PHONE # (306) 694-4427 firstname.lastname@example.org
Effective April 1st, the Sanitary Landfill Operating Hours will change to summer hours as follows: April 1st to October 31st Monday to Saturday: 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Sunday: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
NEWS RELEASE MOOSE JAW March 20, 2014 7th Avenue Bridge – CLOSED MOOSE JAW – The 7th Avenue Bridge has been closed until further notice. The ice impacting the bridge over the past few days has caused significant damage to structural components of the bridge. All types of traffic including pedestrians are now restricted from using this structure. More information will be provided once river levels return to normal and structural damage can be more completely assessed. Media Contact: Colin Prang, Manager of Engineering City of Moose Jaw (306) 221-1990 or (306) 694-4523 email@example.com