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Rescue Squad seeks clarity on Wilton funding

The Lloydminster Rescue Squad will be heading to Wilton in September.

The organization will be attending the next council meeting of the Rural Municipality of Wilton, as they are looking to find out whether or not the Wilton government will be providing funding for the squad in 2017. The subject was recently discussed at an executive meeting of the squad, according to Deputy Chief Brandon King.

King said that the squad had been seeking to talk to Wilton about funding prior to setting a date to appear before council, but it hasn’t been an easy process.

“They’ve really not come back to us as far as any idea for the future,” said King.

“They’re very hard to communicate with as of late, phone calls go unrecognized, letters go unheeded, and we had to take this council meeting to get an answer.”

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King said the lack of communication has proven frustrating for the squad.

“It is frustrating, we’ve worked with them for a long, long time, and we’re very happy to provide service to the communities that are in Wilton,” said King.

“It is just frustrating to our members, I think that’s the big one.”

106.1 The Goat reached out to Glenn Dow, the reeve of Wilton, for comment.  According to him, the RM has been examining the relationship between the squad and the government.

“We’ve been processing what the best options are long term in terms of what they have to offer, and what cost it comes at and what we could do internally,” said Dow.

“There has been no distance between us and Lloyd Rescue, except as we’re working through the process, until we figure out exactly what that looks like, there hasn’t been a dialogue that sort of includes everybody at the table trying to figure that out.”

Dow also said there had been discussions between the RM of Wilton, the RM of Britannia, and the Rescue Squad on the possibility of combining services together, similar to the Legacy Regional Protective Services deal unveiled earlier in the year.

“Starting three and a half years ago, there was a lot of discussion that went on in terms of options, in terms of serving the public from the Wilton side and the Britannia side, as to how we might do that more efficiently, whether that was in terms of amalgamation or some form of working together,” said Dow.

“In the end, that didn’t pan out, so everybody has been kind of re-tooling what that means for the future.”

In addition, Dow indicated the Wilton offices have had low staffing levels during the summer, which would have played a role in the time taken to communicate with the squad. As for how the appearance of the squad at September’s council meeting might go, Dow had a positive view.

“I think that will try and find out and share back and forth what our viewpoints are, and I’m sure we’ll come with something that will be satisfactory for both parties,” said Dow.

He also did not expect Wilton to pull out of funding the Rescue Squad.

“I don’t think that that is set to change at any time in the future,” said Dow.

“Sure, maybe some boundary changes as to what they look after, and what we might look after in the future. That will depend on economics and how we best serve the people.”

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