In a historic meeting, Ermineskin Cree Nation and Ponoka County have signed an emergency management agreement including mutual aid for fire services.
The signing was held Tuesday, Feb. 23 during a regular meeting, which saw Chief Randy Ermineskin, councillors and firefighters come together. A verbal agreement with the Ponoka Fire Department and Ermineskin Fire Department has always been arranged, but this was the first time an official document was signed.
In full headdress, Chief Ermineskin sat with county council as Reeve Paul McLauchlin expressed satisfaction with the collaboration. “I think it’s an opportunity to show we have a lot in common,” said the reeve.
Regional Fire Chief Dennis Jones said they have worked well in the past and this is a formalization of working together. He suggests there would be opportunities of cross-training between the two fire departments.
Ermineskin Fire Department Capt. Richard Coyote said including their grass fire season, they take approximately 300 calls per year. He added the goal is to work with both the town and the county of Ponoka.