Fire Pre­ven­tion Week

Ve­hi­cle bought with­out help from NL gov­ern­ment

The Gulf News (Port aux Basques) - - Front Page - BY ROSALYN ROY [email protected] Twit­ter: @tyger­lylly

Vol­un­teer fire­fighter mem­bers of the Mar­ga­ree – Fox Roost Fire Depart­ment gath­ered to show off the new fire truck with a small pa­rade and com­mu­nity bar­be­cue. Back row (left to right) are: Larry Ken­dall, Dar­ren Hod­der, Larry Meade, Corey Bil­lard, Carolann Keough, Trudy Wal­ters, Wade Keough, Dwayne Vau­tier; and front row: Terry Keep­ing, Trevor Hoskins, John Bil­lard, Gord Sey­mour, Mark Vau­tier, Wil­fred Ludee, Brad In­gram, Brian North­cott, Kyrstal Cousins. Other mem­bers of the depart­ment are: Ar­lene Lilling­ton, Clif­ford Lilling­ton, Matthew Sweet, Lloyd Cur­rie, Mike Stone, Travis Wal­ters, Mar­celle Do­minie, Jamie Cousins, Dar­ren Bil­lard, Deon Bil­lard, Ran­dolph Vau­tier, Dwayne In­gram, Dana King, Perry War­ren, Nick War­ren, Deon Car­roll, Shawn Car­roll, Kevin Hod­der, Randy Meade, Bernard War­ren.

De­spite be­ing only a small com­mu­nity of roughly 325 res­i­dents, Mar­ga­ree-Fox Roost has ac­com­plished some­thing very big.

The lo­cal ser­vice dis­trict has a new pumper truck.

The ve­hi­cle was Sun­day, Sept. 30, with a short pa­rade, fol­lowed by a com­mu­nity bar­be­cue.

The fire­fight­ers also con­structed a new ad­di­tion to the fire hall to house the new truck.

That project in­volved about 80 hours of vol­un­teer labour. Many of the vol­un­teers hold full time jobs else­where and sac­ri­ficed leisure and fam­ily time to work on the build­ing.

And they did all this with­out a sin­gle penny from the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment.

Fire Chief Mark Vau­tier, who has been chief for three years and a vol­un­teer fire fighter for a decade, says the truck is se­cond hand, but solid.

“The truck came from West Hants, Nova Sco­tia,” Vau­tier told The Gulf News. “All the money that was spent in the new ad­di­tion on the build­ing – $60-70 thou­sand– and the truck, which cost $17,000, was 100 per cent com­mu­nity raised.”

Usu­ally money for fire trucks comes from the prov­ince, which tends to re­ceive far more re­quests for new trucks than it can pro­vide.

Vau­tier con­firmed his depart­ment tried many times and failed to get pro­vin­cial fund­ing.

“The fund­ing was not avail­able,” he said. “Wait­ing for the gov­ern­ment for 30 years? That’s was long enough. We had to go on our own.”

The Mar­ga­ree -Fox Roost fire depart­ment build­ing first opened in 1982 with its orig­i­nal truck, a 1981 model. Their new pumper truck is a 1987 model which can store up to 800 gal­lons of wa­ter, a fea­ture that is im­por­tant in a com­mu­nity that doesn’t have fire hy­drants.

Al­most im­me­di­ately af­ter the build­ing first opened, the com­mu­nity ral­lied to raise funds to get a pumper truck too, host­ing a Chase the Ace, bot­tle drives and ticket sales among other events. Un­der the old reg­u­la­tions, the cost of the pumper truck would have been cov­ered un­der a 90/10 split with the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment.

“In the last five years it’s be­come ev­i­dent that that’s never go­ing to hap­pen here,” says Vau­tier. “So we started more fund rais­ing.”

Vau­tier’s re­search brought him to the used model no longer needed by West Hants. With the pur­chase the Mar­ga­ree-Fox Roost depart­ment got more than just the truck. The West Hants depart­ment also loaded it down with ex­tra gear such as fire­fighter cloth­ing and safety equip­ment.

“The gov­ern­ment of Nova Sco­tia and the County of West Hants – they had a mem­ber of their gov­ern­ment there – treated us like we’ve were never treated be­fore,” says a grate­ful Vau­tier. “The truck, on pa­per, cost $17 thou­sand but we’ve got that much plus more in equip­ment do­nated to us from them. It is amaz­ing.”

Prior to the do­na­tion of the West Hants Fire Depart­ment, the fire­fight­ers in Mar­ga­reeFox Roost were shar­ing cloth­ing and gear be­cause they sim­ply didn’t have enough to go around.

Out­fit­ting a vol­un­teer fire­fighter from the boots to the hard hat costs around $3,000. Not long ago a home be­long­ing to one of the fire­fight­ers was de­stroyed by fire.

“That was a huge eye opener when it came to equip­ment. We just don’t have the equip­ment. We’re vol­un­teer.”

J. R. ROY PHOTO

J. R. ROY PHOTO

The Mar­ga­ree-Fox Roost Fire Depart­ment showed off its new fire truck with a small pa­rade on Sun­day, Sept. 30.

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