New res­cue truck on the way for Up­per Is­land Cove

Fire chief ex­pects ve­hi­cle will make a big dif­fer­ence for his crew

The Compass - - Sports - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON edi­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Af­ter lob­by­ing for a few years, Up­per Is­land Cove fire­fight­ers can now rest easy know­ing a new res­cue truck is on the way.

On Thurs­day, Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs Min­is­ter Ed­die Joyce dropped by the lo­cal fire hall to of­fi­cially an­nounce de­tails about the new truck, which will cost $278,000 and be paid for by the prov­ince and the town council on an 80/20 split. The ve­hi­cle will re­place a 1995 model.

“This one right now serves three com­mu­ni­ties — Up­per Is­land Cove, Bishop’s Cove and Bryant’s Cove,” ex­plained lo­cal fire Chief Har­vey Mercer. “The past two or three years now, we’ve been fight­ing for it, and we fi­nally got ap­proved to get our new res­cue unit. It’s a long time com­ing … she’s go­ing to be well used, guaranteed.”

On av­er­age, the fire de­part­ment han­dles 40-50 med­i­cal calls each year, in ad­di­tion to re­spond­ing to other emer­gen­cies. Mercer said that num­ber has been climbing in re­cent years.

“They de­pend on the fire de­part­ment, be­cause our re­sponse time to Bryant’s Cove is prob­a­bly seven min­utes, and to Bishop’s Cove it’s prob­a­bly six or seven min­utes. Is­land Cove is even less. So if an am­bu­lance takes 20 min­utes to get there, by the time they get there, we’ve got the de­fib­ril­la­tor aboard, we’ve got the oxy­gen aboard — we’ve got ev­ery­thing there. The only thing we can­not do is trans­port. So the van is a great as­set to us.”

It’s a long time com­ing … she’s go­ing to be well used, guaranteed. — Fire Chief Har­vey Mercer

The new truck will have ex­tra stor­age space and more horse­power.

Mercer cred­its Up­per Is­land Cove Mayor Ge­orge Adams for go­ing to bat for the town and also ac­knowl­edges the work of lo­cal MHA Pam Par­sons in get­ting the new truck.

“This is some­thing that’s been on their list for many, many years — it’s long over­due,” said Par­sons. “They have a lot of med­i­cal calls in par­tic­u­lar, so this med­i­cal unit is very im­por­tant. It’s es­sen­tial to this com­mu­nity, this part of our re­gion, and I’m happy to say that to­day it’s be­come a re­al­ity.”

Adams, who is not seek­ing re­elec­tion af­ter 18 years as mayor, called Thurs­day a great day for the town.

“He have lob­bied quite ex­ten­sively over the past three years, both with the for­mer gov­ern­ment and this gov­ern­ment, and fi­nally our lob­by­ing has paid off,” he said.

“I guess it’s a recog­ni­tion on the part of the De­part­ment of Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs that in or­der to have an ac­tive and a com­mit­ted group of vol­un­teers to man our fire de­part­ment, it’s cru­cial to pro­vide them with the equip­ment to carry out their du­ties, and I think this is a recog­ni­tion to­day of that. I’m ab­so­lutely de­lighted that fi­nally now we can put our old fire res­cue van, which has op­er­ated ba­si­cally on fumes for the last few years, we can put that one out to pas­ture and we will have a very re­li­able, new piece of equip­ment that our fire de­part­ment can cer­tainly uti­lize.”

The Up­per Is­land Cove Vol­un­teer Fire De­part­ment cur­rently has 26 mem­bers, with Mercer re­port­ing there are sev­eral ap­pli­ca­tions for mem­ber­ship on file.

AN­DREW ROBIN­SON/THE COM­PASS

The Up­per Is­land Cove Vol­un­teer Fire De­part­ment will soon have a new res­cue truck to re­place the one, pic­tured above, which is over 20 years old.

AN­DREW ROBIN­SON/THE COM­PASS

Up­per Is­land Cove fire Chief Har­vey Mercer said the new truck is a much-needed as­set for his fire de­part­ment, which serves three com­mu­ni­ties.

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