Council agrees to purchase new equipment
No pager system
While many fire departments, including Victoria and Carbonear, have pager systems for receiving fire calls, Rossiter explained, “ we can’t use a pager system here because of the hills surrounding the town” - the same problem that plagues cellphone reception on the North Shore. To get the kind of system that would work would be “a massive expense,” he explained.
So they have a system of using volunteer fire callers. Five women receive all fire calls and relay them to a list of volunteer firefighters.
“ We have used this system since we were established in 1983, and have found it to be a very efficient method of contacting our members in an emergency situation,” Rossiter said. He added: “All residents in Salmon Cove and Perry’s Cove have been sent a copy of our fire callers on cards which are laminated and magnetized for easy placement on fridge, phone etc.”
The 17-member Salmon CovePerry’s Cove Volunteer Fire Department receives about a dozen calls a year, according to the chief.
Meanwhile, Victoria Fire Chief Jim Layden reported a representative of the Fire Commissioner’s Office visited the town recently to assess the equipment at their fire hall.
Among its findings, the lengthy report found the department’s breathing apparatuses and bunker suits were “too old and need to be replaced.”
Chief Layden said according to the report all fire trucks over 10 years old should have annual inspections. He said it was the first time they had heard of it. Layden noted their fire pumper is only about five years old, but their equipment van is 20 years old.
The Victoria town council has decided to purchase three new bunker suits and three new breathing apparatuses, at the request of the fire department.
Council also needs to establish how far outside the town boundaries its fire department should go to fight fires. Layden said that has yet to be determined.
The town council has also asked its fire department to monitor calls from Salmon Cove and keep a record of them for the future.
The 22-member Victoria Volunteer Fire Department was established in 1975.