BLC, Driftpile joining forces on fire protection

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Big Lakes County and Driftpile Cree Nation will soon join in a partnership to help each other in firefighting ervices.
At its regular meeting Nov. 23, council approved a motion to support a mutual-aid agreement with the Driftpile Fire Department for a 10-year term.
Big Lakes is currently in the process of creating fire-service and mutual-aid agreements with neighbouring Indigenous communities, Brett Hawken, director of community and protective services, told council.
“This will be the first mutual-aid agreement,” Hawken said.
Driftpile has its own fire department.
“The intent of the agreement is have a mutual understanding of how both parties operate at Driftpile or Big Lakes if a neighouring fire department is called to assist.”
Big Lakes and Driftpile plan to finalize and sign the agreement in the coming weeks.
Big Lakes and Driftpile have agreed they will be billed on a “per-incident” basis whenever they assist each other’s communities.
“The main difference between this mutual-aid agreement verses a fire service agreement is clarifying how both parties will be compensated if they are called upon to help,” Hawken said.
He added the agreement has other key benefits.
“It creates a clear understanding between both parties how to operate during an incident,” Hawken told council.”

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