Services merge

By Geoff Lee

June 30, 2016 12:00 AM

Kevin Shortt, interim chief for the new Legacy Regional Protective Services group, presents the organization's crest at a media conference that took place at the RM of Wilton office on Tuesday.

A few local communities have decided to join forces with their respective protective services to offer a more efficient and effective way to serve their residents.
The town’s of Lashburn, Marshall and the Rural Municipality of Wilton announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding to create the Legacy Regional Protective Services (LRPS).
“Rather than trying to pick, say the Wilton Fire Department, to rally around, let’s create a new name and new opportunity to come together under a new banner, remembering the past and the efforts that have gone into it, but looking forward to the future even more,” said Glen Dow, reeve of the RM of Wilton.
“So as we work together over the next few months, we’ll be combining resources, evaluating our departments, taking a look at the governance model, and getting policies in place and we hope to do this quite quickly, we’re an ambitious crew around here and we want to have something operational by January of 2017.”
Dow said those involved believe the move will help not only in an economical way, but also offer a higher level of protective services for citizens through a stronger fleet of emergency response vehicles, equipment and consistent training and staffing.
As an example he brought up the County of Vermilion River in Alberta, where a similar amalgamation has already happened after it combined eight community fire departments under one banner,
“That does mean, I think, we’ll be moving in the right direction and regional is not a new concept, but it’s a new concept for us, and we wish the community well as we move together and create what we think will be a better solution for all of us,” he said.
The idea came when administration at the RM of Wilton did an extensive review of operational costs for the two fire departments it currently jointly funds, and noticed a chance to provide a more cost affective operational model, while at the same time enhancing the level of protective services in the area.
The model was then shared with other local municipalities and Marshall and Lashburn showed interest right away.
According to provided documents, it’s the hope of the RM of Wilton administration that other towns and RMs in the immediate area will also jump on board in the future.
Kevin Shortt, who has been appointed interim chief of LRPS, spoke about how the services will work together under one umbrella.
“As we work as a unified group, we’re going to examine anything that’s coming in the future, how we can budget to meet those needs, and bring all of our training to standardization, which is really great because your firefighters are all trained exactly the same, it doesn’t matter where they come from,” Shortt said.
“So if someone has a fire in the southern part of the RM, it doesn’t matter if the firefighter comes from Marshall, Lashburn or from the municipality—they’re all trained the same and the equipment is the same, so that we can all operate as a brotherhood.”

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