OFM - 04-11-12

Draft Agreement to Jointly Manage and Operate a Fire Department (Board By-Law)

Public Fire Safety Guidelines

Subject Coding

PFSG 04-11-12


Emergency Response


January 1998


Draft Agreement to Jointly Manage and Operate a Fire Department (Board By-Law)


Under Review

The following is a draft agreement to provide for the joint management and operation of a fire department. Included are guidelines for the establishment of the fire board. Neither the draft agreement, nor the arrangements for the board are intended to be all inclusive.

This agreement made this   day of  , 199  between




WHEREAS the Municipal Act allows for entering into agreement with one or more municipalities to provide for the joint management and operation of fire departments and for the establishment of joint boards of management thereof.

AND WHEREAS the Municipal Act, grants permission for two (2) or more municipalities to establish, maintain and operate fire departments upon such basis as to the distribution of costs as the municipalities may agree.

AND WHEREAS the parties hereto have passed respective by-laws for entering into this joint operating agreement.

AND WHEREAS the parties hereto have agreed to jointly manage and operate a fire department to be known as the "  Fire Department" hereinafter called the "department" for the purpose of providing fire protection in the areas defined in this agreement.

And witnessed this agreement that in consideration of the covenants and terms herein contained:

the parties hereto agree as follows

  1. In this agreement,
  1. "Fire Chief" means the chief of the jointly managed and operated fire department
  2. "Designate" means the person who, in the absence of the fire chief, is assigned to be in charge of the particular activity of the fire department and who has the same powers and authority as the fire chief
  3. "Response area" means the areas of the participating municipalities, as described in Appendix " ", attached to and forming part of this agreement
  4. "Department" means the fire department of the respective parties of this agreement
  5. "Fire Protection" means a range of programs designed to protect the lives and property of the inhabitants of the fire department response area from the adverse effects of fires, sudden medical emergencies or exposure to dangerous conditions created by man or nature and includes fire prevention and public education, rescue and suppression services
  1. A joint board of management shall be established and shall be composed of (   ) elected members from the council of the   and (   ) elected members from the council of the   and is to be known as the "  Fire Department Joint Board of Management", hereinafter called the "fire board". The fire board shall be appointed for a three year term by the councils of   and  . Each council shall appoint their representatives in December, upon assuming their elected offices. The representatives will take office effective January 1st, next following. Any vacancy occurring in the fire board shall be filled within thirty (30) days of same occurring by the council of the municipality which had appointed the member wherein the vacancy occurred.
  2. The fire board shall appoint a chairperson, from amongst its members, at the first meeting of the fire board for a three year term.
  3. The chairperson shall preside at all meetings of the fire board and be charged with the general administration of the business and affairs of the fire board.
  4. (a) The fire board shall appoint a secretary/treasurer at the first meeting of the fire board in each three year term. The secretary/treasurer shall be from the ( ).

(b) The auditor for the (  ) shall audit the accounts of the fire board and shall submit copies of the annual statements and copies of his/her report to the fire board and to each of the parties to this agreement.

(c) The secretary/treasurer shall give, or cause to be given, all notices required to members of the fire board and auditors and shall attend all meetings of the fire board and enter, or cause to be entered, in books kept for that purpose, minutes of all proceedings at such meetings and be the custodian of all books, papers, records and documents belonging to the fire board and perform and so such other duties as may from time to time be prescribed by the fire board.

(d) The secretary/treasurer shall keep full and accurate books of account in which shall be recorded all receipts and disbursements of the department, and, under the direction of the fire board, shall deposit all monies with respect to the operation of the department, in a special bank account designated for that purpose, and shall render to the fire board at the meetings thereof, or whenever required, an account of all transactions and of the financial position of the department. The secretary/treasurer shall pay only such items as are approved and authorized by the fire board in accordance with its budget.

  1. (a) The fire board shall hold at least four regularly scheduled meetings annually, and at such other times at the call of the chairperson or on petition of a majority of the members of the fire board.

(b) The fire board shall ensure the attendance of the fire chief of the department and/or his/her designate at each regular and special fire board meeting.

  1. The fire board shall ensure that all meetings are convened and continued only when each party to the agreement is represented.
  2. (a) All fire board meetings shall have business conducted by written motion, duly moved, seconded and carried by a majority vote.

(b) Copies of all minutes of regular and special meetings of the fire board are to be promptly submitted, after their approval to the councils of each party to this agreement.

(c) Quarterly financial statements, after consideration by the fire board, are to be forwarded to the councils of each party to this agreement.


(a) By the 1st of March in each year the fire board shall submit in writing to each of the parties hereto, a draft budget for the operation of the department for that year together with an apportionment of the costs to each of the parties herein using the formula (   )% for the   and (   )% for the  . Each party hereto shall approve such draft budget, or an amendment thereof, as agreed to by the other parties, on or before the 1st of April of each year. Each party hereto shall pay to the secretary/treasurer in quarterly installments on the first days of January, April, July and October in each year the amount of their said apportionment of costs.

(b) Each annual draft budget submitted to the councils shall include an appropriate provision for a reserve fund for the replacement of equipment. Such contributions to the reserve fund shall be placed in a separate deposit account as may be approved by the fire board in the care and custody of the secretary/treasurer. The secretary/treasurer shall submit a report to the fire board on the position of the reserve fund by April 30th of each year. No non-budgeted amounts shall be paid out of, or charged against, the reserve fund following the date when any party has given notice of intent to withdraw from this agreement.

  1. The parties hereto agree that for the purposes of the financial terms and commitments to this agreement, that all capital and operating costs shall be incurred as per formula in paragraph 8 of this agreement.
  2. It shall be the responsibility of the fire board for the preparation of draft by-laws, the formulating of policies, for and relating to the administration of the department and of the fire board.
  3. The fire board shall provide adequate facilities and equipment for the operation of the department,
  4. The fire board shall be responsible for providing fire protection to areas within the boundary lines as per schedules attached (   ) and forming part of this agreement. 
  5. The department shall endeavour to respond as soon as possible to all emergency calls within the defined areas (as per schedules   ) with such apparatus and manpower as per policy established by the fire board.
  6. The fire board hereby authorizes the fire chief of the department to purchase necessary parts and/or supplies and have the necessary repairs conducted to keep the apparatus and equipment in proper operating condition to a maximum of $
  7. All parties to this agreement shall give such authority as may be necessary to the members of the department in all matters pertaining to fire protection.
  8. The fire board will arrange, in consultation with councils of the parties hereto, for the issuance of policies of insurance to protect assets in the care, custody and control of the fire board from physical loss or damage and for protecting the fire board, the parties hereto and members of the department against legal liability resulting from the activities of the fire board and the operations of the department and to ensure that all policies of insurance provide that all parties to this agreement be endorsed as additional named insurers as their interest may appear.
  9. (a) This agreement shall be in effect until   and shall remain in effect until a new agreement is made, notwithstanding, the terms of this agreement may be amended from time to time.

(b) Should one of the parties wish to propose an amendment to this agreement, such written notice shall be given to all parties at least thirty (30) days prior to the next regularly scheduled meeting of the fire board.

  1. So often as there may be any dispute between the parties to this agreement, or any of them, with respect to any matter contained in this agreement, including, but not limited to the interpretation of this agreement, the same shall be submitted to arbitration under the provisions of the Municipal Arbitration's Act, R.S.O. c. 304 and the decision rendered in respect of such proceedings shall be final and binding upon the parties to this agreement. If for any reason the said arbitration cannot be conducted pursuant to the provisions of the Municipal Arbitration's Act, then the parties hereto shall agree to the selection of a single arbitrator and, in the absence of agreement, such arbitrator shall be appointed by a judge of the Supreme Court of Ontario pursuant to the provisions of the Arbitration's Act. R.S.O. c. 25 or pursuant to any successor legislation.
  2. In the event that any party to this agreement wishes to cease participating in the fire board, they may do so provided that:

(a) One (1) years written notice be given to the other party. Any written notice given as aforesaid, shall terminate this agreement as of December 31st of the following year in which notice is given. 

(b) The terminating party's share, based on the formula in paragraph 8 of this agreement, will be firstly offered to the remaining party at a price determined by an independent appraisal. The funding of such purchase will be extended over a (   ) year period, subject to O.M.B. approval. 

(c) If the department is completely dissolved, the assets are to be split, based on the formula contained in paragraph 8 of this agreement.

  1. It is agreed that, with respect to matters not dealt with in this agreement, the fire board may formulate policies for and relating to the administration and operation of the department unless otherwise prohibited by any applicable statute or regulation passed thereunder. 
  2. The parties hereto shall execute such further assurances as may be reasonably required to carry out the terms thereof.
  3. Upon the execution of this agreement, any existing agreements amongst the parties as amended with respect to fire protection shall forthwith become null and void.
  4. In the event that any covenant, provision or term of this agreement should at any time be held by any competent tribunal to void or unenforceable, then the agreement shall not fail but the covenant, provision or term shall be deemed to be severable from the remainder of this agreement which shall remain in full force and effect mutatis mutandis.
  5. In witness whereof the parties have hereunto affixed the signatures of their duly authorized officers together with their corporate seals.

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