West Nipissing council will pay an insurance bill of $2,284 to ensure a volunteer search and rescue team doesn’t have to fold.

A volunteer paid for the insurance at the outset with the understanding she would be reimbursed.

Councillor Roland Larabie said that reassurance came from the former police chief.

However, it seems somehow the issue fell through the cracks and the bill never got paid.

When the matter was raised at council some members were worried about how not paying the bill would affect volunteerism.

Councillor Dan Roveda said, “If you want to kill volunteerism, don’t pay the bill. But, volunteerism is the backbone of our community.”

Councillor Christopher Fisher said if the municipality wanted to see search and rescue fold, then don’t pay the bill.

But he advised against this.

So did Councillor Leo Malette who said to pay the bill as did other councillors.

The search and rescue team is mostly made up of the members of the local fire department.

During a search and rescue operation, the police lead the search and call on other organizations, like search and rescue, if necessary.

Search and rescue personnel need to be certified to carry out their operations and staff told council the firefighters are certified.