The Opposition is asking the P.E.I. government to pay volunteer fire departments when they respond to medical emergencies.

Firefighters are part of the first response system on P.E.I. and they receive support for medical training from the province, but neither fire departments nor the municipalities that fund them get paid for medical calls.


Colin LaVie says the government is asking too much of volunteer firefighters. (CBC)

Opposition MLA Colin LaVie, a volunteer with the Souris Fire Department, said Thursday in the legislature that is asking too much.

"Our firefighters are volunteers and they come under increasing demand as a result of being first responders and answering calls. Minister, in Souris those calls have increased 62 per cent last year in Souris Fire Department," said LaVie.

"Our firefighters want some help. They want answers. Are you going to help them minister?"

Health Minister Doug Currie said the province pays Island EMS to respond to medical emergencies. While he values the role firefighters play in first response, he said there are no plans to provide further funding.