After two years of negotiations, Bonnyville Regional Fire Authority (BRFA) and Alberta Health Services (AHS) have entered an agreement. Station Chief for BRFA, Brain McEvoy says AHS will fund 86 percent of the costs associated with the emergency services, while the remaining 14 percent will be funding through direct billing; such as ambulance services.
Secure with the agreement that funding will be provided for the emergency services operations, including ambulance and fire services, Chief McEvoy says the funding increase only covers the current level of care. “They increased our funding enough to cover our existing costs. There’s absolutely zero extra funding in there. They increased our contract to cover our costs to maintain status quo.”
The agreement comes after an exhausting two years of negotiations, says McEvoy, “this allows us to continue to operate, as we prepare to renegotiate the contract in 2018.”
During the negotiation period, BRFA reached out to the Municipal District (MD) and Town of Bonnyville. “they made funds available to us, as a line of credit, while we renegotiated with Alberta Health Services.” A line of credit was given to BRFA, from the MD and Town, for $180,000. “They have received the money back. We were able to operate without having to draw on it,” confirms McEvoy.