Fort McMurray, Alberta – Wood Buffalo RCMP Detachment is back up and running out of the Timberlea building on the north side of Fort McMurray. The majority of the local detachment personnel have returned to work after being relieved of their duties for fourteen days, while RCMP reinforcements from across Alberta and Canada travelled to Fort McMurray to assist. Wood Buffalo RCMP personnel were forced out of the Timberlea detachment on May 3rd due to the massive wildfire.
After evacuating, local RCMP personnel continued their work in ensuring the safe evacuation of more than 85,000, with police operations centred out of various locations until the RCMP’s south side facility was deemed safe and functional. Local uniformed RCMP personnel were relieved of their duties as soon as members from other parts of Alberta and across Canada arrived. .The majority of local RCMP personnel has returned to the community to resume a regular shift schedule. There are still 79 members from other Alberta RCMP detachments working in Fort McMurray to assist with security patrols. All RCMP personnel working in Fort McMurray are staying in accommodation outside the evacuation zone, and this will continue until the staged re-entry begins.
The Timberlea detachment was closed until today due to interior air quality. Air scrubbers were used to make the detachment safe again for employees. There was no significant damage to the building.
“Having a fully-functioning detachment and our people back on the job is great news for the RCMP and this community, “said Superintendent Rob McCloy, Officer-in-Charge of the Wood Buffalo RCMP Detachment. “We know that people are understandably concerned about the property they left behind, and we are working hard to keep the things safe until they can come home.”
Supt. McCloy was on vacation in Paris on May 3rd when he learned of the fire and returned to Alberta immediately, to work at the RCMP’s Emergency Operations Centre at “K” Division Headquarters in Edmonton. Whenever possible, it is RCMP practice to relieve employees who are personally affected by a local emergency as soon as is possible. However, Supt. McCloy insisted on contributing to emergency operations, where his knowledge of the city and its people proved invaluable.