July 21st, 2024

Local firefighters won’t be heading to B.C., at least not at this stage

By Gillian Slade on July 13, 2017.


Alberta is responding to a request for firefighters to help with the wildfire emergency in B.C. but at this stage there has not been a request for local firefighters to participate, says Medicine Hat Fire Service.

A request would come from the provincial operations centre, said Lance Purcell, deputy fire chief Medicine Hat Fire Service. The Fire Marshall’s office has a list of all equipment within the province and would request equipment and staff as required. If and when that request is made there would be a response from Medicine Hat.

The province also has a wildfire organization operating out of Edmonton that handles forest fires.

“Most likely that’s where the firefighters (to respond to B.C.’s request) would come from,” said Purcell.

Earlier this week, Alberta responded to a request from B.C. and so far 40 Alberta RCMP members with the Special Tactical Operations unit are heading to B.C. this week.

“We want British Columbians to know that Alberta is here to help,” Premier Rachel Notley said in a release. “From sending RCMP support to firefighting crews, we are here to support our neighbours and will continue to help in any way that we can.

“Many provinces, including British Columbia, stepped up to help us last year as we battled the Fort McMurray wildfire, and we want to return the favour.”

Officers are deployed under provisions of provincial policing agreements with the RCMP that allow the commissioner of the force to temporarily withdraw officers from one province to assist with an emergency elsewhere in the country. The deployment of RCMP members to B.C. will not affect the force’s operation in Alberta.

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