Police association says officers in Fort McMurray not properly protected

By The Canadian Press
May 20, 2016 - 11:01am

SURREY, B.C. — An organization representing many rank-and-file RCMP members is alleging officers deployed to the wildfires in Fort McMurray, Alta., were not provided with adequate masks to protect them from toxic fumes.

The Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada says at least one member has complained of being left on his or her own to find a mask and ending up wearing a “paper dust mask” while exposed to smoke for five days.

Association president Rae Banwarie says in a news release that officers should have been issued with military-style masks but instead were provided with a limited quantity of 3M Model 2097 masks.

The association also complains its members were not given medical examinations following their deployment, “which should have been a mandatory protocol by RCMP management.”

Its members are being asked to submit a hazardous occurrence report and undergo a thorough medical examination in order to “create a base line test by providing blood and urine samples to physicians to document any future health issues that may occur.”

RCMP officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

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