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The Towns of Grimsby & Lincoln honoured for the Niagara West Fire & Emerg Pilot

News Release

Grimsby and Lincoln win national municipal collaboration award for Fire & Emergency Services pilot

Fredericton, NB (May 18, 2022) – The Towns of Grimsby and Lincoln, ON have received national recognition for their Niagara West Fire & Emergency Services pilot project from the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA). The Towns were presented with the first-ever 2022 CAMA Collaboration Award between municipalities during a Virtual Awards of Excellence Ceremony held today.

Chief Administrative Officers (CAOs) Harry Schlange, Town of Grimsby and Michael Kirkopoulos, Town of Lincoln are both members of CAMA.

CAMA is pleased to recognize Grimsby and Lincoln for the municipal excellence demonstrated through their partnership to create a fire service pilot,” said Jack Benzaquen, CAMA president, CAMA representative for Quebec and City Manager for the City of Dollard-des-Ormeaux, QC. “The implementation of a shared fire service pilot allows both municipalities to maximize their collective resources, ultimately resulting in service efficiencies and significant cost avoidance.”

Grimsby and Lincoln have embarked on a pilot project to undertake shared fire protection services. On October 1, 2021, a Memorandum of Understanding came into effect establishing the Niagara West Fire & Emergency Services to serve the two neighbouring communities.

Located in an area of Ontario that is estimated to grow by 200,000 residents / year, the shared fire service allows both municipalities to proactively maximize their collective resources and reduce costs, resulting in administrative efficiencies and additional support for frontline services. It will also help preserve the more cost-effective volunteer fire service model currently employed by both Towns for years to come.

The project will be rolled out in two phases.

Phase 1 began October 1, 2021, and is expected to continue for approximately 24 months. During this phase a single fire department has been created and a Joint Advisory Committee consisting of members of Council from both municipalities was established to oversee and provide governance to the service area. A Fire Master Plan will also be carried out through a third party.

Pending approval from both municipal Councils, Phase 2 will proceed to full implementation of the partnership.

A working group comprised of team members from both Towns was created in 2020 to determine if the adoption of a shared fire service would result in a more efficient, effective, and affordable model of emergency service. The working group allowed for increased engagement and cooperation through the pilot’s development and implementation.

“The Niagara West Fire & Emergency Services pilot project is an innovative and creative approach to emergency service delivery,” said Grimsby Mayor Jeff Jordan. “The pilot, which was over a year in the making, brought a new management model to both Towns’ municipal fire services that helps address the challenges faced by our growing communities.”

“This innovative shared service pilot has been recognized by the Government of Ontario as a model for how other municipalities can upgrade, streamline and improve their services,” said Lincoln Mayor Sandra Easton. “Over time it will bring significant, positive change to both communities through cost savings, improved emergency response delivery and the preservation of a volunteer firefighting model.”

“The CAMA Awards of Excellence recognize the achievements of local governments and their senior staff in the development and implementation of successful programs, projects or services,” said Gary Kent, Chair of the 2022 CAMA Awards, CAMA Member-At-Large for Municipalities with a Population Over 100,000, and Chief Financial Officer and Commissioner of Corporate Services for the Region of Peel, ON. “Thirty-five submissions from across the country were received for this year’s awards. Congratulations to the winners and all those who took time to enter the awards program.”

To find out more about the award won by Grimsby and Lincoln, as well as the other 2022 CAMA Awards of Excellence winners, visit and look for the award recipients link.

Media Contacts:

About the CAMA Collaboration Award:

The Collaboration Award of Excellence recognizes an exemplary partnership of an innovative, collaborative initiative where the outcome has demonstrated mutual benefits to all partners.  This collaboration must result in one or more of the following outcomes:  a significant improvement in service to both partners; developed new or improved processes and improved the quality of life for residents.

This award recognizes the contribution among a CAMA member municipality with other municipalities / communities or with external organizations.  This team effort may have been through an informal agreement or a more formal legal structure.  Nominations from both urban and rural municipalities are encouraged and should focus on the project and its implementation, not on individual's qualities.

About CAMA:

The Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators is a national, non-profit association open to all Chief Administrative Officers / City Managers and any person employed in a senior management position that reports directly to the CAO. CAMA has a membership of approximately 650 City Managers, Chief Administrative Officers and senior appointed officials from all parts of Canada.

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Town of Grimsby
160 Livingston Avenue
Grimsby ON, L3M 0J5
Phone: 905-945-9634
Fax: 905-945-5010

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