Alberta’s first responders put their lives on the line each day to protect their communities. The Alberta Heroes’ Fund for First Responders (Heroes’ Fund) was established in 2020 to recognize those risks and sacrifices. Alberta is the only province with a fund of this kind. It provides a one-time, tax-free payment of $100,000 to eligible families of first responders who have lost their lives performing their duties, such as police officers, paramedics and firefighters.

Alberta’s government is now expanding the fund’s eligibility, through an order-in-council, to include the families of fallen wildland firefighters.

“There is no higher form of public service than to risk one’s life to maintain public safety, and Alberta’s government is honouring that. Being eligible for the Heroes’ Fund recognizes the great risks our wildland firefighters take to protect our lives and communities. While I know the payment cannot bring back their loved ones, it will help ease the burdens for families of fallen wildland firefighters.”

Matt Jones, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Trade

Eligibility for Heroes’ Fund payments now extend to workers who fight, suppress or extinguish a wildfire, such as firefighters on the ground and helicopter and water bomber crews. The Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) is responsible for determining eligibility on a case-by-case basis.

“These fallen wildland firefighters and their families have made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting the people and communities of Alberta and their sacrifice will not be forgotten. This monetary support will never be enough, but it is hoped that it will ease some of the financial burden facing families who must deal with the loss of a loved one.”

James MacKinnon, wildland director, Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation

In addition to wildland firefighters, those eligible for Heroes’ Fund payments include the families of structural firefighters employed by a municipality or Metis Settlement, police officers, sheriffs, provincial correctional officers and paramedics.

“I’m proud that we’re expanding the province’s Heroes’ Fund to include our wildland firefighters. They go to work every day, knowing the sacrifice they and their families may be faced with. Albertans owe a debt of gratitude to the brave men and women who work tirelessly throughout the wildfire season to protect our communities and forests.”

Todd Loewen, Minister of Forestry and Parks

Quick facts

  • Heroes’ Fund payments are in addition to regular workers’ compensation fatality benefits.
  • Since its establishment, 58 families have received Heroes’ Fund payments, of which 84 per cent were structural firefighters.