Brigade seeking donations
Carbonear fire department raising money for new equipment van
The Carbonear Volunteer Fire Department has launched a fundraising campaign to purchase an equipment van to replace the 25year-old model now in its inventory.
The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 23 Carbonear kicked off the campaign April 13 with a $1,000 contribution.
The fire department has written other community-minded service organizations and corporations in the area in hopes they will come on board to help raise the amount needed for the equipment.
The letter describes the vehicle as “a very vital piece of equipment in dire need of replacement.”
Fire Chief Ed Kavanagh explained the van is used to carry very important equipment to a fire scene, including personal protective equipment such as bunker suits), breathing apparatuses, medical supplies, extra pumps, radios and other vital equipment.
No fundraising goal has been set, but the van is expected to cost between $40,000 and $60,000.
Neither have they put any timelines on when they would like to have the money raised. However, Kavanagh told The Compass they hope to have the new van in place before the end of the current executive’s two-year term of office.
In January of this year, the department took delivery of a new $861.739 aerial ladder truck. The provincial government provided 80 per cent of the money for that equipment while the Town of Carbonear was responsible for the remaining 20 per cent. In light of that fact, Kavanagh acknowledges, “ we cannot go to these two entities for further funding for another truck.”
While both levels of government are aware of the department’s need for an equipment van, Kavanagh said, “ funds are just not available.”
According to the minutes of the April 4 regular town council meeting a motion was passed, “that the Town of Carbonear, on behalf of the Carbonear Volunteer Fire Department, apply to provincial government for funding to be cost-shared 80-20 ( province-town) to cover the cost of firefighting equipment needed to outfit the new quint fire truck. The town’s share of 20 per cent will be taken from the fire department’s operational budget. Coun. David Kennedy noted the funding is separate from capital works funding.”
To illustrate the province-wide demand for firefighting equipment, Municipal Affairs Minister Kevin O’Brien told The Compass in an earlier interview: “ we have 89 requests for new fire trucks and I have $2.5 million in my budget for such equipment. The average cost of a new truck is $200,000 — so do the math.”
To meet all the demands for fire trucks alone the minister would need over $17 million in his budget for such equipment.
If they are unable to raise enough funds for a new machine, Kavanagh said they would consider purchasing a used vehicle.
According to its funding policy, the provincial government does not cost-share the cost of used or refurbished firefighting equipment.
The fire department has been providing fire protection to residents of Carbonear since 1841. The young firefighters who make up the department in the 21st century want to ensure residents are protected 24 hours-a-day, seven days-aweek.
“All we ask for in return is the best firefighting equipment possible,” the chief concluded.