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County enters mutual aid agreement with Clearwater

Agreement sets out conditions for the sharing of personnel or equipment

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY — County council has approved a new five-year mutual aid agreement with Clearwater County.

The move came by way of motion at the recent regularly scheduled council meeting.

“It’s a very extensive and all encompassing agreement,” said reeve Bruce Beattie.

The agreement sets out conditions for the sharing of personnel or equipment, including firefighting equipment and personnel, special constables, municipal emergency agency staff, municipal staff such as administrative, public works and bylaw, and municipal equipment such as graders, trucks and loaders.

“Administrations have worked together to develop a mutual aid agreement to support each other as resources allow,” said Jeff Holmes, the county's chief administrative officer.

“The base of this agreement is comparable to the agreement Mountain View County has with Rocky View County. However, modifications were made to the fee structure to also provide Clearwater with consistency between its existing mutual aid agreements with other communities.

“We worked together to find something that was a blend of the two and something we could both support.”

The agreement sets out some limits to providing mutual support, with section 5.1 reading: “The responding party shall not be required to respond immediately to mutual aid requests. In the sole and unfettered discretion of the authorized authority or designate of the responding party, only personnel and equipment which can reasonably be spared without impairing the responding party’s capacity to protect life, health, property, government infrastructure or environment within its own boundaries shall be provided.”

The agreement includes mutual aid service fees section, which states, in part, that, “In general, the requesting party shall be liable for the payment of all costs incurred by the responding party in coming to its aid.”

The agreement sets the hourly rate for ladder and pumper trucks at $630 per hour, light and medium rescue vehicles at $630 per hour and command vehicles at $185 per hour.

Clearwater County has an existing mutual aid agreement with Sundre, said Holmes.

“Because Mountain View County doesn’t control or operate the Sundre Fire Department, we would not necessarily be in control of sending mutual aid to Clearwater, that would still have to involve Sundre, but certainly would cover Clearwater coming into Mountain View,” he said.

Clearwater County council approved the new agreement on Jan. 26, members heard.