Alberta fire departments get funding increase
By: Matt Durnan
| Posted: Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 11:03 am
Alberta Transportation Minister Wayne Drysdale announced an increase in funding for Alberta’s fire departments responding to emergencies on provincial highways.
The announcement came last week at the March 18 spring meeting of the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties (AAMDC).
Drysdale announced that fees for large equipment such as pumper trucks and rescue vans will be increased from $400 to $600 per hour to reflect the increasing costs of operation.
“Typically for fire response on provincial highways, we get reimbursed (by the Province),” said Airdrie Fire Department (AFD) Deputy Chief Garth Rabel.
“That amount has now been raised so we’ll be getting more money back for our efforts.”
Fire departments are often the first responders at motor vehicle collisions on the province’s primary and secondary highways.
“The Airdrie Fire Department responds to collisions on Highways 2, 566 and 567 and we’re out there quite a bit,” said Rabel.
“If we need to use materials to clean up liquid from the road, we have to pay to replace them.”
Alberta Fire Chiefs Association (AFCA) Vice President Al Schram commented on Minister Drysdale’s announcement in a press release sent out on March 24.
“The announcement of increased funding for emergency response by fire departments responding to emergency situations on provincial highways is good news for every municipality and fire department in Alberta,” said Schram. “It has been about 15 years since fees were adjusted and they were just not covering actual costs. Municipalities and their taxpayers were picking up the shortfall.”
The AFCA represents 450 rural and urban fire chiefs throughout the province. They represent approximately 13,500 firefighters – 10,000 of which are volunteers.
For more on the AFCA, visit www.afca.ab.ca
For more on the AAMDC, visit www.aamdc.com