The city’s relationship with the Lloydminster Rescue Squad just got deeper. City council voted to enter into a two-year service agreement with the volunteer-based organization at an annual cost of $14,400. The city’s previous agreement with the Rescue Squad expired at the end of 2018, and options were explored to continue a partnership.
City administration has found the best option is a service agreement, with bi-annual meetings between the Rescue Squad and Lloydminster Fire Services to ensure proper training and response between both parties. Mayor Gerald Aalbers sees the partnership as vital and looks forward to helping the city utilize its assets for a safer community.
“We have resources in our community. To utilize our total resources as one, and not have to duplicate those resources, is absolutely critical,” says Mayor Aalbers. “I think that representing the taxpayers would ask that we get the best buy that you can for the dollar that they give us, and I think that we’re trying to do that.”
The Rescue Squad has access to a number of functions that Lloydminster Fire Services doesn’t. Recently, LFS acquired motor vehicle extrication equipment which before it relied on the LRS. Their specialized services include ice rescue, dive rescue, search and rescue, and drone/UAV services. Mayor Aalbers says the agreement helps strengthen and extend the bond between the Rescue Squad and the city.
“They’ve had relationships with other municipalities. Now we’re just extending that agreement. We’ve been in a contract before with them, an agreement with them. A new agreement is in place, and we can move forward.”
Councillor Aaron Buckingham, a member of the LRS, removed himself from the council decision on the matter. While not participating in the decision making on this agreement, Buckingham believes it’s a good deal, adding the cost to be on par with their services would be great.
“The deal that’s set with the Lloydminster Rescue Squad now provides those services way cheaper than we could procure them today to provide them, and speaks to the well-roundedness of the safety of our city,” says Buckingham. “That’s all we really care about; making sure we provide the highest level of safety we possibly can to everybody. The deal with the Rescue Squad helps enhance our local emergency services at, in my opinion, a steal of a deal versus replacing or buying those (pieces of) equipment.”
The costs of the contract are included in the 2019 operating budget. In the future, funds will be allocated for the deal under the fire services budget.