Tree Frog Forestry News

Alberta firefighters call for reversal of cut to helicopter rappel program

By Travis McEwan
CBC News
November 7, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Firefighters who rappel from helicopters to fight forest fires called on the Alberta government Thursday to reverse its decision to end the program. The end of the Wildland Firefighter Rappel Program [RAP] was revealed Wednesday by Forestry Minister Devin Dreeshen who called it a budget decision and said the government is putting priority on two other groups of firefighters who are used more often.  Close to 63 firefighters have been employed and trained by the program. The UCP government will work to place them in other crews, he said. …Mike Dempsey, a vice-president of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees who represents … firefighters in the RAP program said, “I’m a bit shocked and saddened, of course. It seems like they’re wanting to save a bit of money, but it’s going to cost them a whole lot more in suppression costs.”

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