‘It’s like a dream come true’
Miminegash fire chief speechless after community takes ownership of new truck
Miminegash fire Chief Wayne Gallant, says he was speechless as the newest piece of equipment for his fire department rolled into his community on Saturday.
“It’s like a dream come through,” said Gallant, a veteran firefighter with the West Prince department.
“It is going to have a huge impact on our department, our community and our fire district.”
The truck’s arrival marked nearly three years of hard work by the community, the fire department, and especially the support network behind the fire department, the Miminegash Firemenettes.
Raising the $350,000 for the truck, and another $50,000 or more for equipment on the truck, is no easy feat for a community with a population base of less than 200 people.
Crystal Gallant, president of the Miminegash Firemenettes, says her group formed in January 2007 following two major fires in the community.
The idea, she said, is that they would bring tea, coffee and food to firefighters during major fires.
“I think we only did that once,” she said, standing by the bright red fire truck, which had a special thank you to her dedicated group of volunteers painted on the back of the truck.
“We were too busy with the fundraising.”
The Firemenettes helped raise funds for badly needed equipment, a rescue van and for the past three years the new pumper.
The group of 14 women raised more than $90,000 through dances, dinner theatre and its annual Oktoberfest celebrations.
But more work is needed, she said.
The truck is not fully paid for yet and the truck now has to be supplied with more life-saving equipment.
The department now has two pumpers, a tanker, and a rescue van.
The new pumper has already been christened “Duffy’s truck” after Duffy Chaisson, an engineer with the department.
Chaisson played a critical role in getting the right equipment ordered for the truck.
The fire chief said that will provide better protection for the fire district, and better equipment for the 28 firefighters who volunteer with the Miminegash Fire Department.
“Now, when we respond to a mutual aid call, we can have one pumper back in the community, just in case.”
Santa himself delivered the truck during the Miminegash Fire Department Festival, a three-day fundraiser also for the fire department.
Rob Tremblay, deputy chief of the Miminegash Fire Department, said the arrival of the new truck was emotional.
“I am still a bit teary-eyed,” said Tremblay.
“It was so much work. I can’t believe it is finally here.”
Miminegash fire Chief Wayne Gallant, left, Crystal Gallant, president of the Miminegash Firemenettes, and deputy chief Rob Tremblay, show off the community’s new fire truck which was delivered on Saturday. The new, $350,000 truck was paid for through numerous fundraisers put on by the Firemenettes, the fire department and numerous community groups and organizations.