Questions aplenty, answers were few

By Geoff Lee

September 20, 2016 12:00 AM

Rescue Squad Chief Norm Namur, left ,and deputy chief, Brandon King

Fate of Lloyd Rescue in the RM of Wilton unclear

The Lloydminster Rescue Squad may need to extricate itself from funding and contract uncertainty with the Rural Municipality of Wilton.
Rescue squad chief Norm Namur and deputy chief, Brandon King, spoke to the RM’s council meeting on Thursday to ask when they will be paid for their 2016 service contract and to seek clarification of their service status for 2017.
“For this year, we have not received yet any funding from the RM of Wilton,” Namur told council.
“The request we have, is that coming soon?”
The rescue squad is owed about $50,000 by the RM and Reeve Glen Dow was non committal on a payment date.
“We’ll be having a discussion afterwords—it probably won’t be today, there are a few other items that we want to take care of—I will reply shortly,” Dow told Namur.
Dow also couldn’t say what type of rescue services, if any, the RM of Wilton will require from the Lloyd Rescue squad in 2017 given the RM is rolling out its Legacy Regional Protective Services plan.
That plan to put the fire departments of Wilton, Lashburn and Marshall under a centralized command centre caused the Britannia-Wilton Fire Department to dissolve when the RM of Britannia opted out of the new entity.
The Lloyd rescue squad signed a three year service contract with the RM of Britannia on Aug. 31.
Namur said there’s been no dialogue about Wilton’s plans for Lloyd rescue services in 2017 and beyond between the RM of Wilton and the rescue squad since January.
“At the end of the day we’re leaving it really close for us to decide what we need to do for our trucks and our vehicles and our staff,” he told council.
“Is that something that’s been discussed at council or is there already a decision made?”
Dow replied council does not have a formal decision yet.
“It’s on our agenda at some point in the future fairly soon to discuss and we will try to address both of those things and get back to you,” he said.
Namur was miffed about an opinion editorial letter Dow wrote that he found hurtful with many inaccuracies.
He had a bone to pick with Dow who wrote the rescue squad did not want to join the RM’s legacy protective entity and wishes to remain autonomous.
“A lot of things they were saying about us not wanting to join is simply not true,” Namur said, outside chambers.
He referenced a letter written last November by his executive board outlining Lloyd Rescue’s position as a non profit volunteer group that he read aloud to council.
“According to the letter I read, we’ve always asked for more time because we have legal obligations,” said Namur.
“We can’t just dissolve the squad to join a municipality because they have a timeline.”
Namur said the rescue squad is also responsible to the city of Lloydminster, the RM of Britannia and the County of Vermilion River.
“We just can’t dissolve our assets or say one of our trucks is going to go here and one of our trucks is going to go there,” said Namur.
“We have a lot of assets and we need to make sure that they are placed properly.”
Namur wants the RM to blink first and make their intentions clear about what type of rescue service they want and how it will be administered.
“I absolutely couldn’t fathom what their grand plan is because I don’t believe we’re part of it at this point,” said an exasperated Namur.
“We asked for a letter—what your plan is, give it to us in writing what you want us to do and what our services are going to provide—where and who and what.”
So far they’ve had zero response from the RM, he said.
“We went to say the rescue squad still has a contract with Wilton until the end of Dec. 2016 and they will fulfill that obligation.”
As for the funding delay for 2016, Dow said normally, payments would be made in June when 60 per cent of their taxes are collected
“This year we are less than 60 per cent coming into September and October,” he said.
“The other point is the amount for this year, prior to Lloydminster Rescue wishing it wanted to remain an autonomous organization, so council will discuss that.”
Dow said he and council should be able to “figure out what our responses are” probably in the next three weeks as people finish harvesting, he said, noting he and some councillors are farmers.
Asked what direction Wilton plans to take with rescues services, Dow said that’s to be decided.
He noted with the legacy protective plan, they’re certainly not interested in other types of services the Lloyd rescue squad provides, such as ice and water rescues.
The reeve added extrication services will be provided in Lashburn for the east side of the RM. Dow summed up the possibilities with two options including considering Lloyd rescue squad to manage the balance of the RM for one to three years with extrication.
“Another possibility is we may move toward a long term thing as much as the city has done where it looks after everything in its jurisdiction,” said Dow.

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