Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Pincher Creek first responders to assist with wildfire effort

Josh Davis and Toni Lucas

Pincher Creek RCMP Detachment Commander Sergeant Mark Harrison was present as a delegation at today's meeting of the Town of Pincher Creek's Committee of the Whole. Harrison’s primary focus was to update the committee on the response to the catastrophic ongoing wildfire in Alberta, which has so far destroyed more than 1600 homes and buildings in the city of Fort McMurray.  The RCMP District Commander has requested officers to assist in Fort McMurray. "I provided him with some names of members who are available," said Harrison. "We could see a reduction in manpower resources in the next month, by the look of this disaster." Harrison said that a big concern is maintaining security within the area following the disaster.

According to Sgt. Harrison, two members of the RCMP who were originally intended to start at the Waterton Detachment on May 10 have already been deployed to Fort McMurray.

In an interview this evening Pincher Creek Emergency Services Chief Dave Cox said PCES has also made resources available to help deal with the crisis.

"It's not good, it's a big loss,” said Harrison of the crisis. “They have lost a major portion of Fort McMurray. It's hard to believe. It's a major disaster."

Mayor Don Anderberg said "We do understand that kind of support." Councillor Wayne Elliott said that Claresholm is sending or has sent first responders to Fort McMurray to help in the time of crisis.

Following this Harrison spoke with the committee about putting together an annual performance plan. That issue will be the subject of a separate upcoming story.

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