Emergency Services Payment

Res #: 18-04A
Number: 18
Year: 2004
Midterm: No
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Corrections and Public Safety

Resolution No. 18-04A

WHEREAS, the delivery of Sask911 emergency service has given rise to situations where non-ratepayers receive service; and

WHEREAS, vehicle plate insurance does not cover the various services; and

WHEREAS, the fees for such services are not totally covered by SGI, and often times, may not meet the criteria for compensation under the Municipal Rescue Services Fund; and

WHEREAS, the outstanding amount due on such accounts is in essence covered by the ratepayers of the municipality delivering the service;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Province recognize the need and accept the responsibility for payment of these outstanding accounts.

Response from Honourable Peter Prebble, Minister of Corrections and Public Safety:

The current framework enabling municipalities to recover various costs for emergency response services outside their jurisdiction allows for various options to be considered. First, both The Urban Municipalities Act and The Rural Municipalities Act allow municipalities to recover costs association with emergency response services provided to another municipality.

In these cases, municipalities should consider entering into mutual aid or fire protection agreements to ensure responsibilities and rates are understood in advance of any need for such services. Second, in situations where applicable insurance coverage is an option, municipalities and private interests should ensure they have adequate protection for fire and other such costs.

Third, The Municipal Rescue Services Fund was established to address some of the gaps where insurance does not offer coverage, especially when services are needed including clean up, etc. related to vehicle collisions. Municipalities have a responsibility to ensure they are aware of which of these options is applicable to which situations. With regard to The Municipal Rescue Services Fund, while the fund was established primarily to allow municipalities to offset costs incurred when responding to vehicle collisions, the Board has some latitude for considering other activities as being eligible under the Fund.

It establishes the compensation system regarding the approval of claims, development of payment guidelines and the levels of compensation. Further, should a municipality's claim be rejected for payment and feels the rejection is in error, a process of appeal is available. Municipalities are encouraged to bring concerns to their respective Board representatives so that the current system can be improved. As SARM is a member of this group, you may want to raise this matter with the Board. Given the options already available, under the current framework, I regret to advise the Province is not in a position to accept the costs as identified in the resolution.