WHEREAS Alberta Transportation has established a Memorandum of Agreement to respond to the “Commercial Vehicle Certifcate and Insurance Regulation (AR314/2002)” under the Traffic Safety Act which outlines the responsibilities of firefighters; and
WHEREAS municipalities as the registered owners of the equipment who are operating the fire service, endorse the intent of the Memorandum of Agreement for safety, clear reporting and maintenance of firefighting equipment by appropriate personnel; and
WHEREAS many municipalities have volunteer firefighters who dedicate many hours to protecting their communities and the provinces highways however this regulation with its strict requirement for all firefighters to complete certain reports each time they go out is impacting recruitment and retention of volunteers who are asked to dedicate the additional extra time for the extra duties as outlined in the Memorandum of Agreement;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties request the Province of Alberta to amend the Memorandum of Agreement, regarding the Traffic Safety Act “Commercial Vehicle Certificate and Insurance Regulation (AR314/2002)”, to remove the requirement for mandatory completion of the Driver Evaluation Report Attachment “D”.
Attached is the Memorandum of Agreement between Alberta Transportation and the Fire Chief Association, who endorsed the regulations on behalf of and in consultation with the municipalities.
The Driver Evaluation Report has to be completed each time the vehicle is used and by all who were in the vehicle as well as the driver which we consider to be a time consuming task for the volunteers. The other routine maintenance to put the unit back into service is necessary and beneficial and consumes much time by the volunteers.
Municipalities and regions are being told to create their own levels of service however the basic levels of service already are exhausting the volunteer resources due to response to more than local emergencies such as highway vehicle accidents.
The key issue is the high dependence on the volunteers for firefighting in many municipalities and the growing difficulty to recruit and retain these individuals due to the high number of highway accidents that demand significant time commitments without burdening them with strict records requirements.
The volunteer firefighter base is not only serving the rural and urban municipalities but is also serving the general public using the highways of this province.
The AAMDC has no current resolutions directly related to this issue.
Transportation: As a result of the concerns expressed in this resolution, Alberta Transportation amended Appendix B of the Memorandum of Agreement regarding the Traffic Safety Act “Commercial Vehicle Certificate and Insurance Regulation (AR314/2002).” The amendment allows the Driver Evaluation Form “to be completed at the time of hire (and for periodic driver evaluation as deemed necessary)”.
Firefighters are no longer required to complete this report each time they drive the equipment.
Municipal Affairs: The Memorandum of Agreement regarding the Commercial Vehicle Certificate and Insurance Regulation of the Traffic Safety Act was developed from 2006 to 2007 through a consultative process between stakeholders and Alberta Transportation, with input from the Alberta Emergency Management Agency.
The recent amendment to Appendix B of the Memorandum of Agreement, as noted above, represents a reasonable solution that promotes safer roads while respecting the limited ability of volunteer fire services to meet increased administrative burdens.
In light of our concerns, the proposed amendments were made to the Traffic Safety Act resulting in the AAMDC accepting the actions taken to meet the intent of this resolution. Although the Driver Evaluation Form must still be completed at the time of hire, it is no longer mandatory for firefighters to do so at every use.