March 9 - Change your clock and your smoke alarm batteries
It’s that time again. On Sunday March 9, 2014 the clocks spring ahead one hour in time. This is also a great time to test your smoke alarms and change their batteries.
Chief Marshall strongly recommends changing your smoke alarm batteries and then testing the alarm to ensure it will function. Aside from pushing the test button to sound the alarm, another easy way to test it, is to hold a lit incense stick 10 – 12” below the alarm and allow the smoke to drift into the device causing it to sound. Once the alarm sounds, fan the smoke away and give the device a quick vacuuming to ensure it is free of dust which can affect the performance of the smoke alarm.
The fire service suggests that smoke alarms between 7 and 10 years old, be considered for replacement. Manufacturers’ specifications may also include an expiry date, which may be stamped on the device; however, generally speaking, the life span of a smoke alarm is 10 years.
Mayor Rick Bonnette says, “Properly installed and maintained, working smoke alarms prevent injuries and save lives”. Mayor Bonnette adds, “With the minimal costs of smoke alarms today, everyone should have working smoke alarms in their homes. With a little extra effort, we can prevent unnecessary tragedies”.Posted: Mar. 07, 2014 Under: Halton Region Permanent Link to this Article
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Halton Region honoured for high quality customer service
This past January, Service Quality Measurement Group (SQM) recognized Access Halton as a Service Quality Award of Excellence Winner for 2013. Halton Region received the SQM North American Call Centre Industry 2013 Award for highest customer service in government. This award is based on first call resolution (FCR), the measure of how many calls are required to resolve an issue, answer a question or get a requested service. Halton Region measures call centre customer satisfaction annually.
“I am very proud that SQM has recognized Halton Region for its high performing call centre, Access Halton, for seven of the last nine years,” said Regional Chair Gary Carr. “This recognition reflects our commitment to being a resident focused government, connecting with residents daily through the delivery of high quality programs and services.”
Since 1996, SQM Group has been a leading North American research firm for benchmarking, consulting and awarding FCR call centre performance. SQM benchmarks and tracks call centre performance of 450 call centres by surveying customers to measure satisfaction levels. The most recent survey included 400 Access Halton customers.
The results revealed that:
- Ninety per cent of Halton Region callers made only one call to get their matter resolved. The average top performing call centre FCR score is 84 per cent and the average government FCR score is 79 per cent.
- Ninety-two per cent of callers were satisfied overall with their call centre experience.
- Ninety-six per cent of customers were satisfied overall with the customer service representative who handled their call.
- The Region scored in the first quartile of all nine SQM key performance indicators.
Access Halton, the Region’s call centre, responds to telephone inquiries 24 hours a day, seven days a week through 311. Access Halton also responds to email received via email@example.com, web requests from halton.ca/311 and through in-person service. In 2013, Access Halton handled over 304,354 calls, 9,282 emails, 12,357 web service requests and 36,907 reception visits.
“Customer Service is one of the priorities of the Citizens’ Priorities Action Plan and making it easy for residents to access Halton is our goal,” added Chair Carr. “Congratulations to Halton staff for their customer service excellence and for helping to make Halton Region a great place to live.”
The award will be presented at SQM’s annual conference, to be held in Washington, D.C., April 15 & 16, 2014.Posted: Mar. 07, 2014 Under: Halton Region Permanent Link to this Article
Regional Council says a heartfelt thank you to “Dr. Bob” after 25 years
Today, Chair Gary Carr and members of Council expressed their admiration and appreciation for Dr. Bob Nosal, retiring after 25 years of service to Halton residents.
Since Dr. Nosal became Halton Region’s Commissioner and Medical Officer of Health in 1991, he has led the Health Department through West Nile Virus in 2002, SARS in 2003 and H1N1 in 2009. He has been a leader in the areas of health promotion, public health surveillance, air quality and environmental protection, and in the development of a top performing Paramedic Service and community-based mental health clinic. All of which has culminated in making Halton Region’s Health Department a provincial leader in programing and service delivery providing the top level of care for Halton residents.
Dr. Nosal has led the Health Department with a vision of being community minded, understanding that the best possible health for Halton residents is most effectively achieved through collaboration. He has served on a number of regional and provincial committees addressing a wide array of public health issues and has been a vocal advocate to addressing mental health, substance misuse, and child and youth development in Halton, among many other issues.
“Dr. Nosal is well respected in the community, by Regional Council, and by his staff and colleagues,” said Regional Chair Gary Carr. “He has been a tireless advocate and public health champion for the residents of Halton. Bob’s opinion has always been one Council could trust and rely on. We will miss his sound knowledge and judgment, as he always served the residents of Halton well.”
“All of us at Halton will miss Bob greatly. His leadership in public health has created one of the most effective and innovative Health Units and Paramedic Services in Ontario,” said Jane MacCaskill, Chief Administrative Officer for Halton Region. “But even more importantly, Bob is respected by all his staff and colleagues at Halton and across the Province.”
Dr. Nosal emphasized the importance of building a strong team. “To all the staff at Halton and in particular those in the Health Department, I must say thank you. You are professional, hardworking, passionate and leading the way for best practice in your respective fields. Halton is in good hands,” said Dr. Nosal of his years in Halton. “Halton Council has shown unwavering support for the work of the Health Department throughout my 25 years and I must thank you for that. My career at Halton could not have been better.”
The recruitment process to replace Dr. Nosal is underway. His last day at Halton Region will be March 21, 2014.Posted: Mar. 06, 2014 Under: Halton Region Permanent Link to this Article