By Nikki Jamieson
The Municipal District of Taber supports its firefighters.
While it was always known, the M.D. of Taber council made it official during their last meeting on July 26 when they passed a resolution to support all volunteer firefighters working and living in the M.D.
“Really, all it does is cover people, so if they have to take time off, if they have to go to a fire, they’re covered,” said Brian Brewin, reeve for the M.D.
“Or if they’re up all night and late for work or something, that they know they got the approval of council to be doing it.
“We hope that other businesses in the community will do the same.”
The M.D. currently manages four fire departments in the area, with a fifth officially opening next year, under the regional M.D. banner.
Out of those departments, there are approximately 80 volunteer firefighters working throughout the M.D.
According to a memo from administration to council, there are six individuals employed by the M.D. who have volunteered to serve on these departments.
As the volunteers often have to leave work or be out late to answer a call, the M.D. council wanted to make sure they knew how much their work is valued by formally giving them their support.
That way, they don’t have to worry about missing work or being late to work due to answering a call.
“We live in an area that relies on volunteer fire departments,” said Brewin. “Our call volumes in some of our small communities — like Grassy Lake or Hays — they’re not high enough to justify full time people. So, as we’ve always done in the past, is we rely on volunteers to take that on themselves. That’s kind of how our small communities survive or are able to have a fire department.”