Volunteers should be insured

Bureaucrats counting beans need reminding that cutting a few dollars on safety is bad economics that costs more in the end.

West Boundary Road Rescue has asked support of local governments in their fight for compensation and insurance coverage when flagging at accident scenes until Ministry of Highways flagging crews relieve them.

Provincial policy states that, “Flagging is only authorized for ensuring the safety of the emergency services personnel involved in the removal of the subject(s). Once the subject(s) are safely extricated, flagging is no longer covered.”

Road rescue would like that changed so they are funded while flagging until a Highways flagging crew is on scene. They also ask that coverage by WCB, accidental death and dismemberment, and liability insurance cover road rescue groups until suitable traffic control, flagging from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is in place.

In the past WBRR has remained on scene providing flagging for the safety of RCMP and ambulance personnel.

It may be Ministry of Highways responsibility to provide flagging but if they are not on scene and road rescue is, it would make sense to use road rescue crews if they are already there. They are trained and have the equipment.

The alternative is to leave the RCMP and ambulance emergency personnel at an accident scene without proper traffic control available.

This is not the way to protect and respect those who stand ready, day or night, to rush to aid those in trouble on our highways.

For the sake of our loved ones, the government should allow road rescue to provide the service until flaggers paid by Highways are on site. These volunteers should be covered by insurance while providing the service. The quarrel between two government offices over who should pay the bill should be sorted out later.