In the City of Peterborough organization structure, the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer includes the City's top manager, Fire Services, Emergency Management, Corporate Policy coordination, and Communication Services.

The Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) provides leadership and oversight to each of the City’s departments on key projects and on daily activities as
required. The position of CAO, according to Section 229 of the Municipal Act, 2001, is responsible for exercising general control and management of the affairs of the municipality for the purpose of ensuring the efficient and effective operation of the municipality.

The CAO leads the Emergency Control Group (ECG) in times of local, provincial or national emergencies. Such was the case in 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic. Not an event but more of a marathon, the ECG met daily for a period of time before shifting to weekly meetings later into the pandemic. The Mayor declared a State of Emergency for the City of Peterborough. Several working groups were established as the City worked through shutting down and then trying to open back up in the summer of 2020. While some City business also carried on, some work program items were delayed as staff tried to prioritize their time based on the pandemic response.

Highlights and statistics

 Peterborough Fire Services

Peterborough Fire Services (PFS) provides fire suppression and public fire and life safety services utilizing the three lines of defense as recognized by the Fire Protection and Prevention Act (FPPA): (i) Public Education, (ii) Fire Safety Standards and Enforcement, and (iii) Fire and Emergency Response.

Approximately 85% of the PFS Operating Budget is applied to salaries and benefits. PFS staff includes a Fire Chief, Deputy Fire Chief, Manager of Staffing and Logistics, 1.6 Administrative Assistant, CUPE L126, and 98 in Suppression and Support Services, PPFFA L169. In 2021, PFS will continue to focus on succession planning as several staff members are eligible or scheduled to retire.

PFS provides fire and emergency dispatch/communication services to all eight neighbouring municipalities within Peterborough County and all seven Fire Departments within Northumberland County. Any increased costs are offset by the associated revenues.

Response statistics
Response type201820192020 (forecast)
Fire/explosion 393 390 410
Rescue 45 74 50
Motor vehicle collision 447 430 455
False alarms/malicious 34 35 40
Alarm-No fire 809 647 805
Public hazard 286 181 250
Medical call 2,662 3,009 2,962
Public service 464 395 500
Assist other agencies 105 309 150
Miscellaneous 415 394 350
Dispatch calls for County of Peterborough 4,220 4,258 4,300
Dispatch calls for County of Northumberland 4,299 3,912 4,200


 Emergency and Risk Management

The Emergency and Risk Management Division is committed to providing leadership and guidance to address natural and human caused emergencies that can disrupt normal operations and channels of communication, and may stretch available resources for emergency response and recovery operations. This includes preparation and planning to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of citizens, the protection of property and the environment, and the provision of effective and timely incident response and recovery.

The Division oversees corporate risk management services, insurance procurement and claims handling. Staff provide advice and guidance to all departments regarding risk mitigation and insurance for operating activities and capital projects.

In 2020, the City declared an emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many municipal services and programs were suspended for a period of time and the City had to adapt business practices to adhere to health and safety and physical distancing requirements for staff and the public. Many initiatives were established in partnership with community agencies and other levels of government to help the region recover from the impacts of the ongoing pandemic.

The 2021 insurance premiums are estimated to increase by approximately 20% over 2020. This increase is primarily a result of hardened worldwide market conditions due to the number of catastrophic natural disasters in the past several years.

The Division received 522 incident reports between January 1 - September 29, 2020, of which 72 resulted in claims against the City. By comparison, there were a total of 648 incident reports and 114 claims during the same time period in 2019. In total, there were 861 incidents and 125 claims in 2019, compared to 572 and 85 respectively in 2018. All claims are investigated for gross negligence and legal liability, and are handled in accordance with best practices and case law.

 Communication Services

Communication is a corporate-wide activity with both external and internal audiences. The City communicates with residents, businesses and other stakeholders through its various channels, such as direct community engagement activities, its website, and social media.

City Council approved a new Communication Policy in 2020. The creation of a Community Engagement Charter with a corresponding Community Engagement Policy is planned for 2020/21. The ongoing implementation of the City branding generally calls for replacing assets through their normal replacement schedule for a gradual implementation of the brand; some assets with longer life cycles, such as signage and branding on vehicles, could proceed ahead of the typical schedule.

Communication Services includes customer service, accessibility, and corporate sponsorship activities. Through the 2018 to 2022 Accessibility Plan approved by City Council on September 10, 2018, the City expressed its commitment to demonstrating leadership for accessibility in the community.

Accessible document compliance, training and implementation is expected to be a focus for accessibility in 2021, building on the roll out of Office 365 and other software tools. Accessibility staff are a resource for staff throughout the corporation and support the Accessibility Advisory Committee.

Customer service initiatives in 2021 are expected to include supporting customer service training as well as taking advantage of the benefits associated with PTS's implementation of a new corporate telephone system with features that provide opportunities to enhance customer service.

The corporate sponsorship program works to leverage investments in services and assets to generate alternative sources of revenue for the City, where there is a good fit for the City and its partners. Revenues in 2020 were affected by the COVID-19 emergency. Revenues from corporate sponsorship in 2021 will be heavily dependent on the economic situation that will influence market demand and values for corporate sponsorship opportunities. In 2020/21, corporate sponsorship is working with the Recreation Division and Public Works to launch new sponsorship opportunities associated with outdoor sports fields and ball diamonds that will expand the City's inventory of sponsorship assets.

2021 Budget overview

Office of the Chief Administrative Officer
Description2021 recommended
Expenditures $533,762
Revenues -
Net requirement $533,762
Fire Services
Description2021 recommended
Expenditures $18,085,978
Revenues $931,704
Net requirement $17,154,274
Communication Services
Description2021 recommended
Expenditures $953,404
Revenues $321,500
Net requirement $631,904