The Port Hardy Fire Rescue (PHFR) made a modest request to Port Hardy Mayor and Council for equipment.
According to a recent Dec. 11 delegation to council, PHFR is looking for a bit more funds from the district in order to obtain up-to-date self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBAs).
“It’s not a cheap ask. It’s certainly worth a lot of money, but they’re a life safety device and our lives depend on these … We wear them a lot, we depend on them a lot. Failure’s not an option when it comes to SCBAs,” said PHFR Fire Chief Brent Borg. The new equipment would fall under district capital expenditures.
“It’s long overdue I think. We tried to determine the age of them (Scott 2.2 SCBAs) and we don’t know,” he added. “They’ve been brought up to the 2013 standards and it cannot be brought any further. We want to move forward.”
PHFR Deputy Chief Gavin Texmo said that the detailed quote “came way under budget for what we’re looking for so that original $73,000 is actually looking closer to … about $35,000” for a new fill station or what is more commonly known as an air compressor. He also noted that, if approved, a few other pieces of equipment may mean a cost of $8,000-$9,000.
PHFR is also looking to purchase 22 SCBA packs, bringing the request up to a little over $200,000.
“What we’re looking at is the dollar factor,” he pointed out. “The Scott pack is slightly more, but it does have some options that are built into it that aren’t in the price.”
He also noted that Scott has a deal for cylinders, but the masks, which has a built-in facepiece, will roughly cost around $600 per unit.
An MSA G1 brand SCBA, however, has top of the line technology for built-in voice amplifier units in the masks.
“The way I look at it. They’re life safety options, they’re features, but they’re not 100 per cent necessary for the application of using a pack,” he said. “If it comes down to a matter of financial constraints, we can eliminate some of those options and lower the overall purchase.”
“The MSA package here, to me, is just head and shoulders above what you get for your dollar,” Texmo added.
Coun. Wishart asked the two delegates whether PHFR needs to purchase 22 packs immediately.
Borg responded by saying that there is the possibility of purchasing half in one budget year and then purchase the rest in the next budget year, but to buy it incrementally would make it difficult for PHFR.
Port Hardy council now waits until a future meeting to decide on PHFR’s funding request.