Warman Fire Chief Russ Austin

Warman Fire Rescue (WFR) now has a formal mutual aid agreement with the Saskatoon Fire Department (SFD), similar to one in place with other neighbouring communities.

Warman City Council voted unanimously at a meeting on Monday, March 25 to endorse a draft Mutual Aid Agreement that commits the two fire departments to assist each other in the event they are called on.

A similar mutual aid agreement has been in place for over 30 years between the fire departments in Warman, Martensville, Dalmeny, Langham, and Osler. The current agreement between the five communities was signed in 2023 and will be in effect until 2028. The agreement is renewed every five years.

Mutual aid agreements allow firefighters and first responders to call in additional personnel and equipment to bolster their efforts when required. The fire departments also conduct joint training sessions on occasion, ensuring improved coordination between departments during emergencies.

The mutual aid agreement spells out how each municipality will lend assistance across jurisdictional boundaries, specifies liability insurance coverage by each partner, and sets out other conditions.

While informal cooperation with the Saskatoon Fire Department has been a hallmark of these smaller fire departments over the years, there has never been a formal mutual aid agreement with the Saskatoon Fire Department prior to this year.

Warman Fire Chief Russ Austin told the March 25 city council meeting that the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency requires fire departments to have formalized mutual aid agreements with neighbouring departments as part of the Declaration of Service Level program they brought forward in 2023.

“It is a standard agreement based on a  fee for service at the SGI posted rate,” said Austin. “A mutual aid agreement with Saskatoon Fire Department is a direct benefit to our city if a major incident ever occurred. It is not likely to be used unless  a major incident happens, but it will be there if we ever do need it.”