Busy year for bri­gade

Car­bon­ear fire depart­ment holds 39th fire­fight­ers’ ball

The Compass - - News - BY BILL BOW­MAN bbow­man@cb­n­com­pass.ca

It’s been a busy 12 months for the Car­bon­ear Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment, which re­sponded to 80 calls for ser­vice over the past year.

But it was dur­ing Hur­ri­cane Igor in Septem­ber that the brigage was at it busiest, Chief Ed Ka­vanagh re­ported dur­ing the 39th fire­fighter’ ball on Oct. 9.

More than 200 fire­fight­ers and guests turned out at the Knights of Colum­bus in Car­bon­ear for the event.

Ka­vanagh noted that there were13 calls for aid dur­ing the storm, mostly from home­own­ers in with flooded base­ments. The depart­ment also re­ceived six calls dur­ing the storm that were passed on to New­found­land Power.

He was es­pe­cially pleased to note that it was a fa­tal­ity-free year. “ That’s the main thing,” Ka­vanagh said. The sin­gle largest num­ber of calls —24 — were false alarms, a statis­tic which Ka­vanagh found “alarm­ing in it­self.”

Fire­fight­ers re­sponded to seven mo­tor ve­hi­cle ac­ci­dents; seven brush/ grass fires; six chim­ney fires; four struc­tural fires; three gas/ propane leaks; and two each of dump­ster fires, no per­mit fires, propane fires and med­i­cal emer­gen­cies.

This year’s ball came at the end of a busy Fire Pre­ven­tion Week, with var­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties in­clud­ing vis­its to lo­cal schools, dis­plays, colour­ing con­tests and what Ka­vanagh de­scribed as, “an ex­cep­tional open house at the fire hall, which at­tracted be­tween 400 and 500 chil­dren and their par­ents.”

The chief sug­gested the time put into events like Fire Pre­ven­tion Week “shows the true ded­i­ca­tion of vol­un­teer fire-fight­ers and makes me proud to be part of the vol­un­teer fire depart­ment.”

Wel­come news

The fire depart­ment will soon have a new ad­di­tion to its fleet of fire­fight­ing equip­ment. In Au­gust, the pro­vin­cial govern­ment an­nounced fund­ing ap­proval to pur­chase a new quint (quin­tu­ple com­bi­na­tion pumper) truck.

The ve­hi­cle will re­place two older mod­els — a 1976 Amer­i­can LeFrance aerial lad­der truck, which has been out of ser­vice for sev­eral years, and the depart­ment’s No. 2 pumper, which has also out­lived its use­ful­ness.

Ka­vanagh de­scribed the new ve­hi­cle as “one awe­some truck.” He noted five for­mer fire chiefs have been lob­by­ing to re­place the older equip­ment over the past 16 years.

“ We didn’t have an ace up our sleeve, we had an MHA up our sleeve,” Ka­vanagh quipped.

For his part, Car­bon­ear-Har­bour Grace MHA Jerome Kennedy re­called it was not long af­ter be­ing elected that he first learned about the need for new equip­ment from for­mer chief Ron Gar­land.

But it didn’t seem to take a lot of arm-twist­ing to con­vince Kennedy of the need for the equip­ment. The health min­is­ter men­tioned the eight-story Car­bon­ear Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal and new 250-room long-term care fa­cil­ity, which will con­sist of two four-story build­ings, to be built ad­ja­cent to the hos­pi­tal.

“ With all the fa­cil­i­ties we have here, we need that truck,” Kennedy said.

Town sup­port

Mayor Sam Slade noted the town coun­cil is pro­vid­ing $167,000 — 20 per cent — to­wards the $837,000 to­tal cost of the new truck. The prov­ince is re­spon­si­ble for 80 per cent.

Slade pointed out coun­cil’s con­tri­bu­tion is “in ad­di­tion to the $81,000 the town pro­vided to the fire depart­ment in its an­nual bud­get for 2010.”

He said the fire depart­ment’s re­sponse dur­ing Hur­ri­cane Igor was “an­other ex­am­ple of go­ing above and be­yond the call of duty.”

He promised coun­cil will also be help­ing the depart­ment with fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance to re­place a floater pump lost dur­ing the storm.

Dur­ing the event, 15-year ser­vice medals were pre­sented to Brent Sweeney, Steve Bar­rett and Derek Ash, while a 10-year ser­vice medal went to Frank Pike. Schol­ar­ships Dylan Butt ac­cepted the Fred Chubbs Me­mo­rial Schol­ar­ship from his dad, fire­fighter Frank Butt.

The $ 200 schol­ar­ship goes to the son or daugh­ter of a mem­ber of the depart­ment who has achieved the high­est av­er­age in Level III.

Dylan, 18, grad­u­ated from Car­bon­ear Col­le­giate last fall. He is cur­rently do­ing first-year uni­ver­sity cour­ses at the Col­lege of the North At­lantic. His am­bi­tion is to be­come an en­gi­neer.

The Clif­ford Pike Me­mo­rial Schol­ar­ship for high­est mark in Level III Lit­er­a­ture went to Jack Ka­vanagh, son of Ed and Donna Ka­vanagh.

The pres­i­dent of the ladies’ aux­il­iary, Diane Bar­rett, pre­sented the chief with a $500 do­na­tion on be­half of her group.

Pho­tos by Bill Bow­man/The Com­pass

Ac­tive mem­bers of the Car­bon­ear Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment on hand for the 39th fire­fight­ers’ ball were: Front (l-r) —Fred Bald­win, Glenn Trick­ett, Claude Gar­land, Lieu­tenant Ned Mercer, First As­sis­tant Chief Steve Bur­den, Chief Ed Ka­vanagh, Sec­ond As­sis­tant Chief Keith Thomas, Cap­tain Don Earle, Lt. John Craw­ford, Kerry Noel, and Ken­neth Thomas; back — Steve Bar­rett, Adam Earle, Frank Butt, Alvin Ware­ham, Ja­son Ho­gan, Brent Sweeney, Tim Parker,sec­re­taryRichard Ros­siter, Chris Dowden,trea­sur­erColin Clarke, Den­nis Ash Jr., Dar­ren Shep­pard, Ed­ward Wrice, Scott Mullins, Cory Ma­haney, Tom Craw­ford, Ron Gar­land and Michael King.

Dylan Butt ac­cepts the Fred Chubbs Me­mo­rial Schol­ar­ship from his dad, fire­fighter Frank Butt.

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