Townships to go it alone on auto-ex?

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Unable to find a willing dance partner, the townships of Head, Clara & Maria may look to go it alone on the issue of auto extrication services.

Townships council will discuss a report this week which suggests the municipality could create its own “rescue squad” to respond to automobile accidents in a 30 km gap on Highway 17.

The Mattawa fire department will currently respond to auto-ex calls when people are trapped in their vehicle following a crash, as far down Highway 17 as Bissett Creek.

However, the stretch from Bissett Creek to Colton Lake, just west of Rolphton, is not covered for response.

Historically, the townships were covered under a three-way agreement with the towns of Deep River and Laurentian Hills for the provision of auto-extrication service throughout the three municipalities.

But that agreement was dissolved in 2019, by mutual agreement of all three municipal partners.

Several issues were identified in a review of the service at that time, including the need for $29,000 in equipment to be charged to Head, Clara & Maria (HCM).

HCM has since reached out to its neighbours on a number of occasions, asking for some form of auto-ex agreement to be reinstated, but has been rebuffed in its efforts…

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