Concerns raised over contract decision and possible impact on insurance rates

By Ashley Wiebe
April 20, 2017 - 5:21pm Updated: April 20, 2017 - 7:03pm


MEDICINE HAT, AB —More concerns have been raised over a decision made by Cypress County councillors earlier this week.

Council voted unanimously to not renew the fire contract they have with the City of Medicine Hat.

Some residents are concerned the decision may impact response times, but others are concerned about how insurance premiums will be impacted.

Mayor Ted Clugston knows the county made the decision earlier this week, but he’s hoping nothing is set in stone.

Clugston said there’s a lot of considerations that need to be looked at, including how this could impact county residents and their insurance premiums.

Gord Cowan with Cowan Agencies said there are a lot of factors that play into why insurance premiums may change.

Cowan said anytime a community makes changes to the way it fights fires, insurance companies are looking at response times and if homes and properties are more at risk.

A service that’s run by volunteers, instead of a full time fire fighting service, will also have an impact.

“If it’s determined that by cancelling the Medicine Hat contract and employing a service that may or may not be able to provide similar response times and expertise and equipment, that would then create additional risk,” he said.

Councillor Dustin Vossler said the response times in the county are not guaranteed like they are in the city.

“We were doing some mapping the last couple days and from, just for an example, from Dunmore to Besert Blume is 12 minutes,” he said.

If the decision does go through and a new station is built in Dunmore, the County would look at add between 30 and 40 volunteers to help in case of an emergency.

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