Fire department looking at charging user fees for waterfall rescues

A firefighter pulls equipment behind him.

Rope rescues are very labour intensive, Hamilton fire department officials say. (David Ritchie/CBC)

After several high profile rope rescues this summer, many Hamiltonians are questioning why people who fall at Hamilton’s waterfalls aren’t charged a fee for their rescue.

Fire department numbers show that the city is on track to surpass other years when it comes to rope rescues. As of the end of August, firefighters had answered 15 rope rescue calls, although one was a false alarm.

There have been at least four more since.

And that’s just this summer — that number could easily grow come fall when the leaves start turning and droves of people trek out onto Hamilton’s paths to admire the colours.

While the fire department originally said it would not charge for rescues, officials now say they are looking at charging a user fee, brought on by “increased attention” and “some community sentiment.”

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Source: CBC News Hamilton