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Town of Port Blandford finances purchase of fire truck

The new fire truck for the Port Blandford Fire Department.
The new fire truck for the Port Blandford Fire Department. - Contributed

Investing in the community and recognizing the financial situation of the province

PORT BLANDFORD, N.L.

The Town of Port Blandford has approved the purchase of a 2005 American LaFrance fire truck for its volunteer fire department.

“This truck is a great addition to our fire department” said Mayor Chad Holloway. “Our fire department members provide an outstanding service to our community and our council wanted to ensure that they have the tools they need to do their job while keeping them safe in emergency situations.”

The fire truck is being purchased to replace the Town’s 1974 pumper and 1993 cube van.

“The 1974 pumper can no longer be used to respond to emergencies and the 1993 cube van has seen better days” said Fire Chief Andrew Oldford. “This truck has a larger water tank and greater pumping capacity than our 1974 pumper and can easily take all of the gear from the 1993 cube van.

“This one vehicle will replace both the older pumper and cube van and will compliment our 2007 pumper.”

The 2005 American LaFrance is a used truck from New Jersey, U.S, with a 515 horse power diesel engine, a 750 gallon water tank and a Hale pump with pumping capacity of 2,000 gallons per minute.

“Although the truck is used, it is in excellent shape, was well-maintained and there is not a lot of kilometres or hours on the vehicle” said Oldford. “It came from a larger city in the United States, so they replace their vehicles on a regular basis with newer models. This truck can easily be in our fleet for the next 25 years.”

The truck is also equipped with a 20 kilowatt generator, built-in night scan light tower and has  eight-person seating capacity with seven SCBA seats.

 “The built-in generator is a great asset for the town during emergencies,” Holloway noted. “As a mobile unit, this truck can provide electricity to keep our pump house and chlorination plant going during a power outage or even heat a warming centre during a winter storm.”

The town has mutual aid agreements with the Town of Clarenville and Terra Nova National Park where the majority of requests are to assist with motor vehicle accidents.

“When we get a call to help with a motor vehicle accident we can now send a full crew of eight people,” the fire chief said. “Also, the built-in light tower will be amazing for night calls on the Trans-Canada Highway.

“Small portable light systems don’t always give the best lighting and can be hard on driver’s eyes when they pass by, but this 25-foot high built-in tower will shine down on the scene, lighting everything up almost like daylight and it won’t be shining in the eyes of traffic.”

The cost of the truck is $145,000 plus HST and the town will be financing it themselves.

“Council was being realistic on the financial situation of the province,” said Holloway. “Currently, the provincial government has budgeted $1.88 million for fire protection vehicles and firefighting equipment for the full province, and there are a lot of fire departments out there in worse shape than us.

“We availed of these funds in 2006 to purchase our 2007 pumper, so the chances of us getting funding now is very low. As a result, council felt that it is the town’s responsibility to ensure we provide excellent fire and emergency services for our businesses and residents, so by purchasing this truck it would be an investment into our community.”

The Town is expecting the delivery of the vehicle in late December 2018.

“If the truck arrives before Dec. 25 it will certainly be some Christmas gift for Port Blandford,” Oldford said.

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