Alberta RCMP to assist B.C. fire response

by Morinville News Staff

Forty Alberta RCMP Special Tactical Operations unit members will be in B.C. later this week to responding to a request for help from British Columbia RCMP.

“We want British Columbians to know that Alberta is here to help,” said Premier Rachel Notley in a release Tuesday. “From sending RCMP support to firefighting crews, we are here to support our neighbours and will continue to help in any way that we can. Many provinces, including British Columbia, stepped up to help us last year as we battled the Fort McMurray wildfire and we want to return the favour.”

Kathleen Ganley, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, said wildfires of this size require a lot of resources and can put enormous strain on emergency responders. “The RCMP officers who are deploying to B.C. will provide relief and support to their colleagues. We thank all first responders for their service to protect all Canadians,” Ganley said.

The officers are being deployed under provisions of provincial policing agreements with the RCMP that allow the commissioner of the force to temporarily withdraw officers from one province to assist with an emergency elsewhere in the country.

Marlin Degrand, Assistant Commissioner, Alberta RCMP Criminal Operations, said the force is proud to stand beside their colleagues in British Columbia as they did in Alberta’s time of need last year during the Fort McMurray wildfires. “This is one of the strengths of the RCMP as the national police force – to mobilize resources where and when needed in our country,” Degrand said.

The province says the deployment of the RCMP members to B.C. will not affect the force’s Alberta operations.

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