County of Grande Prairie Council has given the green light to bump the rate of pay for volunteer firefighters who are out on deployment.
“Our current policy didn’t provide differentiation between what they made as a volunteer and what they made away on deployment, and there is a unique difference between the two,” said County Fire Chief Dan Verdun.
Verdun says they were simply looking for permission from county council was to revise the policy in place which would help them appropriately compensate them while they’re serving outside of the community. He says they will now be paid around $32/hour, or the same as a part-time firefighter.
He adds in the past, volunteers out on deployment would be paid a stipend, but it varied wildly on how much they would actually get paid.
“The stipend is very dependant on a bunch of factors for our volunteers. [Such as] what they’re performing, levels of training and the like. It’s not an A number and a B number, but the parity number we are looking for is the number we pay our part-time firefighters in our service.”
When fully implemented, the change will be retroactive to March 1st, 2019, which would include all volunteer firefighters who were deployed during the High Level wildfire.