Ra­dio re­place­ment ‘couldn’t wait’

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page - -- Richard Ma­honey

North Glen­garry’s fire­fight­ers will be re­ceiv­ing ur­gently needed re­place­ments for their ra­dios now that the mu­nic­i­pal­ity has signed a five-year lease with an Ot­tawabased firm.

The to­tal cost of the five-year con­tract with Tur­ris/Bearcom is $122,554 plus tax, with monthly pay­ments of $2,400 plus tax. The 2019 bud­get in­cluded $30,000 for equip­ment leas­ing so there is ad­e­quate money for the new de­vices, staff in­formed coun­cil at its most re­cent ses­sion.

In re­sponse to ques­tions by Coun­cil­lor At Large Jac­ques Massie, trea­surer Kim Champigny ex­plained that there were ad­van­tages to leas­ing rather than buy­ing the ra­dios. One ma­jor ben­e­fit is that in a field that is con­stantly chang­ing, the fire depart­ment will have ac­cess to up­dated equip­ment, she said.

The agree­ment is cru­cial, stressed CAO Sarah Huskin­son. “The ra­dios need to be re­placed,” she said, adding the depart­ment “couldn’t wait any longer.”

Ms. Champigny ob­served that the cost is “not un­rea­son­able,” con­sid­er­ing that the lease cov­ers a “sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of ra­dios” and that “com­mu­ni­ca­tions are key in emer­gency sit­u­a­tions.”

The depart­ment, led by a chief and deputy chief, is com­prised of sta­tions in Alexan­dria, Ap­ple Hill and Maxville. Each sta­tion has a dis­trict chief, deputy dis­trict chief and about 20 vol­un­teer fire­fight­ers.

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