A draft resolution seeking compensation for municipalities participating in the volunteer Alberta Medical First Responder Program with be presented at the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association Conference in November, 2017.
The City of Wetaskiwin is one of the municipalities across the province participating in the program, as a means to help bridge the service gap between regional ambulance services and community-based fire services.
However, only a small allocation is provided for participating municipalities, for equipment and training.
The City of Wetaskiwin would like to see the provincial government providing a full cost recovery to municipalities for every call responded to.
The draft resolution reads, “Not only will this put the service more in reach of municipalities of meager means but providing this compensation is simply fair and equatable as municipalities participating in this program are providing a service that is truly part of the province’s mandate.”
“While we hold it very important to maintain a level of service in our community that allows our citizens to feel safe we certainly have been increasing taking on the responsibility for first responders throughout the province,” said Coun. Patricia MacQuarrie.
“We’d have meetings with the province about this issue, and it’s been elevated to the level that we feel is really important that we get some provincial advocacy around this issue or the downloading of the responsibility of first responders is going to continue,” she added.
The city is also advocating the desire for compensation for municipalities via other channels throughout the province.