Some big news came out of Outlook last week. Depending on how you look at it, as their fire department became officially partnered with the local RM of Rudy.

"Reeve Dennis Fuglerud of the Rural Municipality of Rudy #284 and Mayor Maureen Weiterman of the Town of Outlook are excited to formally announce the creation of Outlook-Rudy Fire and Rescue," stated the release that came out last week. It continued, "While this partnership has been operational for all of 2022, the opportunity had not presented itself to unveil solid plans of this new entity until recently."

It also goes on to say the newly formed department serves those immediate areas, as well as the communities of Broderick and Glenside after formal long-term fire and rescue protective services agreements were signed with both villages.

With this move, involved municipalities have each appointed three elected representatives to the Outlook-Rudy Joint Protective Services Committee that oversees the operation of the emergency operation.

The current representatives are RM Councillors Bree Campbell, Kent Harrington and Marcel Vermette; as well as Town Councillors Ryan Husband, Bob Stephenson and Justin Turton. The release also states the executive consists of Chairperson Turton and Vice-Chairperson Harrington, and in addition, the committee includes a working group of both municipal administrators, the Chief and the Deputy Chief.

“Chief King and Deputy Chief Lockhart along with their dedicated crew continue to be pivotal to the success of the department and the services this department provides is integral to the success of our community” stated Chair Turton.

Another important step with this move, is that the partnership has approved an aggressive capital investment strategy which will combine municipal reserves and taxes, fundraising and community corporate investment to fund necessary capital improvements over the next 5 to 10 years to continue to provide a valuable level of service to the region to 2030 and beyond.

The first purchases have already been confirmed when it comes to the new joint venture. Because they have been partnered together unofficially for some time now, they were looking for big news to help usher in the new era of emergency services in Outlook.

Locally sourced, they are getting a Rescue Van for $221,354.67 plus taxes from Otex Manufacturing located in Delisle. They are also expecting a delivery next April of a much-needed 2023 Ford F550 4X4 equipped with rescue tools, including new Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) equipment and the ability to house the existing Jaws of Life and radios according to the release. Nearly half of the total cost was already set aside in Municipal reserves, as the remainder was budgeted by both Municipalities in their 2022 operations budgets.

That's not all, as all of that equipment will eventually have a new place to go. Eventually replacing the current facility, plans are in the works (though nothing is concrete) to build a new fire hall in the West Central community. The fundraising portion has begun however, actually kicking off back in 2017 through a special dinner. An open house/barbecue was held just last week with over 200 people in attendance and raised $3000. 

Another committee will be put together to help decide on the design, and whatever other important decisions will exist. Outlook Mayor Maureen Weiterman had this to say on the process through the release.

“It is important that the community be consulted as much as possible, as this equipment and the fire hall are resources that belong to all of us,” remarked Mayor Weiterman.

The Committee will plan to build a functional, reasonable, affordable and sustainable fire hall with the project using substantial fundraising to start, prior to the selection of a final design. One sitting member feels that people will be more inclined to support the project if it remains clear that all Municipal partners remained fully invested.

Councillor Vermette has said that people are more inclined to support the project if it is clear that all of the Municipal partners are involved and invested in the project, stating, "we all must be active in planning for and fundraising for a new fire hall!”

The release also states that tax deductible charitable donation receipts for the new fire hall build will be issued by either the Town of Outlook, or the Rural Municipality of Rudy #284 for donations made at the municipal offices. (All funds donated will go directly to the costs of the new fire hall and NOT to finance operations or administration)

Look for more comments on this project from Outlook's Chief Administrative Officer Kevin Trew.