Kamloops city council has put its support behind a push from Prince George to have the province pay for the services fire departments provide when responding to medical calls.
The City of Prince George has submitted a resolution on the matter which will be considered by members at the upcoming Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in September.
The resolution states that local fire halls, paid for by municipalities through property taxes, provide emergency medical services that help the provincially funded BC Ambulance Service.
“The costs associated with supporting prehospital care by local government fire departments has increased significantly in relation to response hours and increased use of first aid and other medical supplies,” the resolution said.
Prince George is asking the UBCM to call on the provincial government to develop a funding model that will see local governments compensated, as their fire and rescue services are “fulfilling the responsibility of the provincial government.”
During Tuesday’s council meeting, Coun. Kelly Hall said came across the Prince George resolution and brought the topic forward to Kamloops Fire Rescue Chief Ken Uzeloc and Ryan Cail, deputy chief.
“It was interesting when I discussed this with them, the support that they gave was unanimous, mostly because 63 per cent of the calls are medical service calls within the community. ” Hall said.
“The fact that the provincial government is not reimbursing us is a burden on the taxpayer here in Kamloops. So I'd like to see some support thrown behind this resolution from P.G. with a letter of support.”
Kamloops council voted unanimously to submit a letter of support to UBCM for Prince George’s resolution.
UBCM members will vote on this resolution, as well as more than 200 others, during the final three days of its convention, which runs from Sept. 18 to Sept. 22.