By Andru McCracken
The Valemount Volunteer Fire Department usually provides highway rescue services from Albreda to the Alberta Border to Small River, but lately they are covering to just north of Blue River.
Blue River is served by the Clearwater and District Road Rescue Society, but Valemount Fire Chief Rick Lalonde said a shortage of trained volunteers means they can’t operate the service.
He knows what it’s like.
“Part of the problem is there is no labour pool,” said Lalonde.
Lalonde hopes they’re only covering for a bit.
“It would be nice if it was just a few months,” he said.
Susan Williams, a Public Affairs Officer for Emergency Management BC, said training is critical.
“EMBC and the Office of the Fire Commissioner commend the Clearwater and District Road Rescue Society Command Team and Board of Directors for proactively addressing a shortage of trained volunteers of the Blue River component of the Clearwater and District Road Rescue organization,” she said.
Emergency Management BC has offered to train additional volunteers.
The Blackpool Fire Department will now cover 6 km south of Little Fort to 14 km north of Blue River and the Valemount Fire Dept will cover the zone from 14 km north of Blue River to Valemount.
“Operational costs associated with these temporary adjustments will continue to be reimbursed through existing EMBC policy,” said Williams.