Prince Edward Island firefighters who travel outside their district to help paramedics respond to an emergency will no longer have to worry about getting a ride home.
The P.E.I. government recently announced the new P.E.I. Fire Ride program, administered by the P.E.I. Firefighters Association, to pay for taxis home for firefighters after emergencies.
"It's peace of mind for them. They jump in the ambulance without a second thought, and this way … they don't have to worry about how to get home safely," said Gerard McMahon, president of the P.E.I. Firefighters Association.
The program is a one-time $15,000 fund.
Fund announced after lobbying
McMahon said firefighters often need rides home if they travel with paramedics to an emergency.
"They may not have their wallet with him at the time. They weren't planning a trip … out of their community when they got the emergency call, so they get to the hospital and they have no way of paying for a ride home, or they may have left their cellphone at home," he said.
McMahon said firefighters have been paying for their own rides home for years, but it's become more of an issue because it's happening more frequently now.
He said the fund came about after some rural communities on the Island lobbied the provincial government.
He said the association hasn't figured out all of the details of the program yet, but said they will either pay for the taxi directly, or the firefighter can claim the expense.