The R.M. of North Battleford is in the process of creating their own volunteer fire department after a five-year service agreement with the city ended on December 31.
Administrator Debbie Arsenault believes the increase in cost for fire services with North Battleford is what made council decide to create a new fire department in the municipality. The city sought an increase of $220,000 per year for five years, with the potential for increases throughout.
“So far with everything we’ve already purchased we’ve only spent half of what the city was asking.”
The RM currently has 25 volunteers, four of which are fully trained through previous fire departments, who’re gearing up to assist in case of an emergency. Arsenault says a fire engine has been purchased and a water tanker will be retrieved from the city that had been previously loaned out.
“We hired a Fire Chief [Neil Good] about a month ago who’s been working tirelessly doing everything he needs to do to get the department up and running for when our agreement ends.”
North Battleford originally announced in January, it would provide fire services to the R.M. until the end of February on an on-call basis. The extension was given to the R.M. in order to have time for discussion on the agreement or to seek other fire services. The municipality received another month of services by the city in late February.
The City of North Battleford announced last week that it will halt fire services to the R.M. as of March 31.