White­way, Cavendish merge fire de­part­ments

The Compass - - TRINITY SOUTH -

New truck promised

The new bri­gade will serve more than 230 house­holds. Mem­bers have al­ready un­der­gone additional train­ing, and new state-of-the-art breath­ing ap­pa­ra­tuses and bunker gear has been pur­chased.

Within three years, the bri­gade will get a new fire truck, Trinity-bay de Verde MHA Char­lene John­son told the crowd.

What’s more, the prov­ince pro­vided more than $30,000 in fund­ing this year, and a sim­i­lar amount has been com­mit­ted for next year.

“When you come to­gether, we’re more will­ing to step up to the plate and do that bit ex­tra,” John­son said.

The MHA said she was proud of the co-op­er­a­tion and open-mind­ed­ness shown by lead­ers in both com­mu­ni­ties. In a mes­sage to rep­re­sen­ta­tives of other bri­gades on hand for the cer­e­mony, John­son in­vited oth­ers to fol­low the ex­am­ple set by White­way and Cavendish.

“Change isn’t of­ten easy, but at the end of the day if res­i­dents have bet­ter ser­vice, that’s what it’s all about,” she said.

Break­ing down


Some call the merger a nat­u­ral evo­lu­tion. Both bri­gades have jointly or­ga­nized an an­nual Santa Claus pa­rade for nearly a half-cen­tury, and there has been an un­writ­ten mu­tual aid agree­ment in place for many years.

There was some ini­tial ap­pre­hen­sion from some of the older folks, but the bound­aries of the past are slowly com­ing down, added White­way Mayor Craig Whalen, who is also a mem­ber of the new bri­gade.

“We’ve gone from a hand­ful of peo­ple to a house­ful of peo­ple,” Whalen told the sev­eral dozen peo­ple gath­ered at the fire hall.

In fact, White­way had dropped to about 10 ac­tive mem­bers. Cavendish had about 30 mem­bers, but a large num­ber of those work in western Canada on shifts that take them away from home for sev­eral weeks at a time.

The new ros­ter is just shy of 50 mem­bers.

Joy Dob­bie, who chairs the Lo­cal Ser­vice District of Cavendish, said the merger smooth.

“They came to­gether be­cause they saw that it makes sense,” said Dob­bie. “They did it with­out any fuss. It seemed ef­fort­less. I’m amazed.”

Mayor Whalen sug­gested there may be more op­por­tu­ni­ties for the two com­mu­ni­ties to co-oper­ate in the fu­ture, call­ing the merger “just the be­gin­ning.”



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