Brigade seek­ing do­na­tions

Car­bon­ear fire depart­ment rais­ing money for new equip­ment van

The Compass - - TRINITY SOUTH - BY BILL BOW­MAN

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.

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