New ex­tri­ca­tion tool for fire depart­ment

Island Bar­ring­ton Pas­sage Fire Depart­ment adds to their arse­nal thanks to sup­port group

Tri-County Vanguard - - NEWS - KATHY JOHN­SON THECOASTGUARD.CA

The Island Bar­ring­ton Pas­sage Fire Depart­ment (IBPFD) has a new tool in their ve­hi­cle ex­tri­ca­tion arse­nal thanks to an­other do­na­tion from the IBPFD Sup­port Group.

“They’ve done quite a bit for the depart­ment, es­pe­cially in the last few years,” said pres­i­dent and trea­surer Gar­net Sul­li­van, which has not only ben­e­fit­ted the depart­ment, but the com­mu­nity as a whole as well.

The Sup­port Groups’ lat­est con­tri­bu­tion is the pur­chase of a new com­bi­na­tion ve­hi­cle ex­trac­tion tool (jaws of life).

“It’s bat­tery op­er­ated so it makes our boys far more fluid in the field. They’re not tied up with gen­er­a­tors and stuff. They can take it and jump right at the scene and go with it,” said Sul­li­van.

The new equip­ment cost about $20,000 and is just one piece of ex­tri­ca­tion equip­ment pur­chased by the Sup­port Group.

“They also paid for half the ex­tri­ca­tion equip­ment on our res­cue truck about $50,000,” said Sul­li­van. They also spent about $30,000 on the new wheel­chair ac­ces­si­ble porch on the front of hall, helped out with paving out front and pur­chased dress uni­forms for the fire­men.”

The IBPFD has only been in ex­is­tence since 2002, be­com­ing the first amal­ga­mated fire depart­ment in the Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Bar­ring­ton when the Clark’s Har­bour, South Side, and Bar­ring­ton Pas­sage vol­un­teer fire de­part­ments joined forces.

Much the same as many of the fire­fight­ers, mem­bers of the Sup­port Group were also in­volved in the three de­part­ments prior to merg­ing, some for more than 45 years.

“It’s a so­cial night for me,” said sup­port group pres­i­dent Vera Pen­ney. “We get to­gether, gab a lit­tle bit, come up with some new ideas once and awhile. It’s a good feel­ing to know that you’ve helped your com­mu­nity.”

Pen­ney said the same vol­un­teers have been help­ing out for years.

“It’s hard to get young peo­ple to join,” she said.

The IBPFD Sup­port Group car­ries out nu­mer­ous fundrais­ers dur­ing the year that not only sup­port the depart­ment, but also lo­cal youth, with the spon­sor­ship of four bur­saries, and a yearly visit from Santa. From hall ren­tals to events, such as the Fri­day night crib tour­na­ments which starts in Jan­uary to the peren­nial fa­vorite Seal Island Break­fast, Pen­ney said the sup­port group was glad they had the money to help the fire depart­ment pur­chase the new ex­tri­ca­tion tool.

“We’re glad we can help them when we can,” she said.

KATHY JOHN­SON

With their peers in the back­ground, IBPFD Sup­port Group Pres­i­dent Vera Pen­ney and IBPFD Deputy-Chief Corey Crow­ell pose with the new bat­tery-op­er­ated jaws of life pur­chased by the Sup­port Group for the depart­ment.

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