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Rescue Squad seeking more volunteers in new year

Deputy Chief of the Lloydminster Rescue Squad, Ryan LeBlanc, says a big issue for the Rescue Squad this past year is the need for volunteers.

In a year-end interview, LeBlanc told My Lloydminster Now.com that a need for volunteers might be a problem across emergency services.

“We definitely need some more volunteers, and I think that’s an industry-wide issue is having people coming out and volunteer these days,” says LeBlanc.

He adds that while the Rescue Squad is thankful for the volunteers they currently have, the need for more is present.

“The ones we do have we’re greatly thankful for, and the dedication and commitment they do provide to our community. But we are certainly looking for more if anybody is interested.”

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LeBlanc says that volunteers are only asked to be first aid certified with CPR Level C, a valid class 5 driver’s license and a willingness to give back to the community.

“The rest of the training will be provided by us, and it’s something that we’re hopeful for in the new year, that we can gain a few more volunteers.”

The Lloydminster Rescue Squad often deals with motor vehicle collisions outside of the city. LeBlanc calls Canada’s new mandatory breathalyzing policy a great step to prevent accidents related to impaired driving.

“It gives them more chances to catch people who are actually impaired on the highways this holiday season. I don’t want to see anybody that is drinking and driving this year. If people are out on the roads just get someone sober to drive, or get somebody who can drive your group,” says LeBlanc.

With New Year’s Eve around the corner, LeBlanc says that it’s often hard to see if someone is driving impaired and encourages people to find obvious alternatives.

“Our colleagues within the RCMP and other emergency services certainly try to educate the public with drinking and driving, an actually just impairment and driving. Cannabis and alcohol are something we don’t encourage while driving.”

The new impaired driving laws allow officers to demand a breath test from anyone who is pulled over. It’s meant to help police catch more impaired drivers but critics say it may encourage racial profiling.

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