Road service remains in question

With local volunteer group GADSAR officially finished with road rescue the question becomes ...Who will takeover now?

May 1 saw the end of of the road rescue service, provided by the Golden and District Search and Rescue (GADSAR), for rural Golden.

The decision was originally made at the GADSAR annual general meeting on Feb. 2, 2012. Since that time, both the province along with local government have been trying to complete a plan on who would take over providing the service.

As of the time of publication no plan has been put in place which means there is no road rescue service on the Trans Canada Highway, Highway 95 and secondary roads in the Golden area.

Shauna Speers, president of GADSAR in Golden, explained the decision was not made lightly but had to be done for the well being of the group. Speers went on to explain that she has not heard anything about a solution for the issue.

“At this time nothing at all. The province has been fairly engaged since we sent them a letter back in February about trying to find a solution. But at this time I have heard of no definitive solution,” Speers said.

The group was approached to continue servicing the area until a solution was found however with no plan in sight the group felt it would be “an indefinite prolonging of the inevitable.”

Provincial Justice Minister Shirley Bond released a statement about the present situation.

“Road rescue is a specialized service that plays a critical role in keeping the public safe. The Town of Golden, with the help of Emergency Management BC continues to work towards the establishment of a road rescue service in the area.  I am pleased that substantial progress is being made – discussions are underway in the areas of capacity, training and deployment – and in the meantime, the community remains well served by RCMP, the BC Ambulance (BCAS), and the local Fire Department (GFD). I am optimistic that we are close to identifying a group of dedicated individuals who are committed to providing road rescue services in the Golden area.”

This statement by the minister is one Speers does not agree wholly with. “I am unsure how the Golden area remains well serviced by the RCMP, BCAS and GFD when none of them have either the equipment or the mandate to respond to MVIs outside of town boundaries.

Meetings involving the Town of Golden Council are still in a closed stage and therefore no one involved with the council or the local fire department could comment on the situation at the time of publication.