Bri­gade re­sponds to fewest calls in 20 years

Car­bon­ear fire depart­ment holds 40th fire­fight­ers’ ball

The Compass - - OPINION - BY BUR­TON K. JANES

The Car­bon­ear Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment re­sponded to 39 calls for ser­vice over the past 12 months, the small­est num­ber in at least 20 years.

“ We’re hop­ing it’s due in part to the Learn Not to Burn pro­gram that’s on the go in schools for the kids,” Chief Ed Ka­vanagh told The Com­pass af­ter the 40th fire­fight­ers’ ball at the Knights of Colum­bus in Car­bon­ear on Oct. 8.

About 200 fire­fight­ers and guests turned out for the event, which marked the 170th an­niver­sary of the vol­un­teer fire depart­ment in the town.

Ka­vanagh was es­pe­cially pleased to note it was a fa­tal­ity-free year.

The sin­gle largest num­ber of calls — 11 — were false alarms.

“I wouldn’t be too con­cerned about it,” the chief said. “ You can’t say it’s a waste of time be­cause any call you get you got to take it se­ri­ous … You’re bet­ter off be­ing cau­tious than just say­ing, ‘naw, that’s al­right’ and ‘ every­thing is OK,’ and then five or 10 min­utes down the road the place is fully en­gulfed in flames.”

Fire­fight­ers re­sponded to eight struc­ture fires, six brush/grass fires, four mo­tor ve­hi­cle ac­ci­dents, two chim­ney fires, two no-per­mit fires, two mu­tual aid re­quests, and one each of a propane fire, pole fire, med­i­cal emer­gency, and as­sist­ing a dog from the ice.

This year’s ball came a day be­fore the start of Fire Pre­ven­tion Week, Oct. 9-15, with the theme of “Pro­tect Your Fam­ily From Fire.”

Wel­come ar­rival

Car­bon­ear Mayor Sam Slade re­ferred to the ar­rival on Oct. 15, 2010 of the fire depart­ment’s new quin­tu­ple com­bi­na­tion pumper, which had been an­nounced at last year’s ball.

Those at­tend­ing the ball were able to in­spect the aerial lad­der fire truck, which lit up the park­ing lot out­side the venue.

Five former fire chiefs over a 16year pe­riod lob­bied to re­place the older equip­ment. The town coun­cil pro­vided $167,000 — 20 per cent — to­wards the $837,000 cost of the new truck. The prov­ince cov­ered 80 per cent.

“It’s the only make and model of its kind in the prov­ince,” Slade said.

“It brings Car­bon­ear well into the 21st cen­tury in terms of fire­fight­ing equip­ment and ca­pa­bil­i­ties,” added Ka­vanagh.

Slade also re­ferred to the ac­qui­si­tion of self-con­tained breath­ing ap­pa­ra­tus equip­ment, which was made pos­si­ble through provin­cial fund­ing.

Mas­ter of cer­e­monies Mil­ton Peach noted, “ The truck is sta­tioned in Car­bon­ear, but it is here to serve the whole re­gion.”

Town sup­port

Ka­vanagh re­ferred to the “ex­cel­lent sup­port” the 40-per­son vol­un­teer fire depart­ment re­ceives from the town, a sen­ti­ment shared by the mayor.

“ This coun­cil and coun­cils of the past have al­ways been com­mit­ted to our fire depart­ment and tried to pro­vide them with nec­es­sary fa­cil­i­ties and equip­ment,” Slade said. “ The Car­bon­ear coun­cil will con­tinue to give its full sup­port to our vol­un­teer fire­fight­ers.”

The depart­ment is cur­rently rais­ing funds to re­place an equip­ment van.

Car­bon­ear-Har­bour Grace MHA Jerome Kennedy high­lighted the role of younger fire­fight­ers in the depart­ment. “ That’s so im­por­tant,” he noted.

Pre­sen­ta­tions

Dur­ing the ball, a 10-year ser­vice medal was pre­sented to Keith Keough, while Kerry Noel was hon­oured with 20-year ser­vice sta­tus.

Casey Mar­shall ac­cepted the Fred Chubbs Me­mo­rial Schol­ar­ship from her fa­ther, fire­fighter Den Mar­shall.

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

The Clif­ford Pike Me­mo­rial Schol­ar­ship for high­est mark in Level III lit­er­a­ture also went to Casey Mar­shall.

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

“How much pride and ded­i­ca­tion the town and vol­un­teer fire depart­ment has,” Chief Ka­vanagh ex­claimed. “ The fu­ture only looks bet­ter.”

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