There was a lengthy discussion this week at Whitecourt Council regarding the use of the Town’s recently ordered new aerial platform fire truck.
Whitecourt ordered the ladder truck on April 29th as a replacement for the aging Engine 3. It is expected to arrive late next summer or early fall and will be an asset to providing enhanced fire services in the region.
However, only Whitecourt is funding the two million dollar truck, after Woodlands County declined to cost-share the vehicle, sparking a debate among Town Council over whether the truck should roll out to calls in the County.
Mayor Maryann Chichak says safety is the main concern and Administration has come up with alternatives that will be explored.
The four alternatives being looked at include:
1: The unit responds solely in Whitecourt.
2: The unit responds within Town limits and then to mutual aid requests from partners in other jurisdictions.
3: The unit responds within Town limits and then contracted out to private property outside of Town jurisdiction.
4: The unit responds within Town limits and requests for service in other jurisdictions on a fee for service basis.
Chichak says it is unfortunate that they find themselves having this conversation, but with the outcome of a new cost-share agreement still up in the air things like fire services are on the line and could be impacted.
After discussing the alternatives put forward, Council directed Administration to look at the four options, as well as other possible solutions, and bring them back to Council in a final report in the Fall for a decision.