Here is why we have Firefighter Plates in the Provinces of Nova Scotia. Our Plates are and never were for Responding and yes at a road block you will get through when they are seen. These Plates were given to Firefighters as they were given to Search & Rescue and Veterans. The Plates are Recognition for the Unique Effort Volunteer Firefighters Voluntarily do.

I did notice where Mr. Jamie Muir called us Emergency Workers. Thanks for understanding back then what Volunteer Firefighters were at the time and are now, we respond to emergencies. It is very hard to get the Fire Service of Nova Scotia to understand that Volunteer Firefighters respond in their POV's 24/7 from home, malls, birthday parties and in the middle of the night bed.

Just to let Mr. Denny know the Plates are not for responding to an emergency.

Art

Motor Vehicle Regulations Passed

Department of Business and Consumer Services (to Sept. 00)

December 2, 1999 2:50 PM

New regulations that waive vehicle registration fees and provide
special licence plates for volunteer firefighters and members of
ground search and rescue organizations are now in effect.

"We are recognizing the unique effort of thousands of Nova
Scotians who voluntarily put themselves at risk to help their
friends and neighbours, even people they've never met," said Neil
LeBlanc, Minister of Business and Consumer Services. "To
recognize their dedication, I am honouring our government's
commitment to waive the $114 fee for their two-year vehicle
permit and introducing new licence plates for these groups."

The changes went into effect on Wednesday, Dec. 1, and benefit
the province's 9,000 volunteer firefighters and 1,500 ground
search and rescue volunteers.

"These volunteers are highly trained men and women, willing to
put their lives on the line whenever and wherever they are
needed," said Labour Minister Ron Russell.

"The distinctive licence plates are a symbol of our appreciation
for the job they do," said Jamie Muir, Minister responsible for
the Emergency Measures Act. "These new plates will make it clear
that these people are emergency workers and ensure their access
to restricted areas during emergencies."

Upon expiration of their current vehicle registration, volunteer
firefighters and ground search and rescue members will qualify
for the vehicle registration waiver and new licence plate. To be
eligible, applicants must be an active volunteer firefighter or
ground search and rescue team member for a minimum of 12 months.
Application forms will be available from fire chiefs, search
directors, Registry of Motor Vehicles offices and Access Nova
Scotia centres. Over the next two-year period, all volunteer
members should have the plate in place.

Mr. LeBlanc urged volunteers to be patient while the province
distributes the new licence plates; currently, there are enough
plates to satisfy December renewals.

"As we get more plates, we will look at a quick and convenient
way to distribute the plates to the volunteers," said Mr.
LeBlanc.

There are 314 volunteer fire departments throughout the province
responding to more than 5,000 fire, rescue and medical emergency
calls each year. Twenty-three ground search and rescue teams
conduct between 60 and 70 searches a year.

For additional information, call 902-424-5851 in Halifax or toll-
free at 1-800-898-7668 outside the metro area.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     The province is saying thanks to volunteer firefighters and

search and rescue personnel.

     The government will be handing out special licence plates

and waiving motor vehicle registration fees for volunteers.

     Business and Consumer Services Minister Neil LeBlanc said

the province is recognizing volunteers who risk their lives for

others.

     LeBlanc said the 114-dollar fee exemption was a commitment

made in the government's recent budget.

     More than 10,000 volunteer firefighters and search and

rescue personnel respond to emergencies each year in Nova Scotia.

     The volunteers will qualify for their waiver and plates when

their current registration expires.

-30-

Contact: Robyn McIsaac
         Department of Business and Consumer Services
         902-424-2933
         E-mail: mcisaarc@gov.ns.ca

         Al Hollingsworth
         Department of Labour
         902-424-4680
         E-mail: hollinah@gov.ns.ca

         Louise MacDonald
         Emergency Measures Organization
         902-424-0284
         E-mail: macdonlo@gov.ns.ca



kjd                 December 2, 1999     2:50 p.m.
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