Highway rescue issues

Since May 1 the highways around Golden have been missing a very important element.

There are many issues on the discussion when you go into a local coffee shop, to a soccer game or drop into any event in and around Golden these days.

Some issues involve the town and whether spending  should be happening for services or proposed protection.

Others deal with the ease of getting around Golden and the surrounding area.

Still more people are discussing new schedules and how they will change their lives while others talk about what to do about cats that wander freely around the streets.

Once again vandals and the damage they do has also been in the lime light mixed in with whether or not the government has been negotiating or has the right to send unionized workers back to work.

But one topic which I have heard almost nothing about is what is being done about the current road rescue situation on highways in the area.

With a month gone by since GADSAR gave up doing this type of rescue no word has come down from the provincial government about who is going to pick up the slack.

The concept that other groups can do this work on top of what they already do seems a bit too hopeful for the long term.

Training is important for these types of difficult rescues and passing the buck on to others until a group is 100 per cent prepared and trained to take on this role seems to be a dangerous game to be playing.

Local fire departments, ambulance crews, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and others do a great deal for the communities and strive to be there during these types of emergency situations but if one group is to take it over for the safety of us all then they need to be backed by those in power.

One aspect of this which has surprised me is when I am looked at and told it is not a major concern because for the most part it does not involve local people.

While driving back from Calgary last week the realization struck me (again) just how dangerous the roads can be and as the summer rolls towards us the roads are going to become filled with both tourists and local residents.

People from the area do use the highways but that should not be the defining factor on why we are concerned about this issue.

After three years of living in both Invermere and Golden one thing is for certain. Accidents are going to happen on local highways.

There is no doubt about this fact. People will be trapped in cars, trucks and other vehicles.

Cars will go down over embankments.

Lives will be on the line and seconds will at some point make a difference between someone eventually going home or never going home again.

Accidents happen for many reasons and if things like speed cause them then we have to hope that something can be done to slow people down. This does not change the fact that we have brave people who will go out on these highways to try and help people.

It does not matter where someone is from. What does matter is the best services are being given to them once an accident has happened and currently one might want to question how quickly this local issue is being resolved.


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