COAL HARBOUR—Of course, no fire fighter ever want to hear their pager go off.
But with a new, state-of-the-art engine in the fire hall, the Coal Harbour Volunteer Fire Department knows it is ready to answer any call.
The department took delivery of its first new truck last week after a partnership between Coal Harbour and Quatsino First Nations allowed them to purchase a top-of-the-line model.
“It’s amazing,” said Fire Chief Andrew Hory. “It’s got so many great options that we couldn’t have got — and we we were looking at a great truck to begin with.”
Primary pumpers have a twenty-year life cycle and Coal Harbour began looking at options to upgrade its main engine a number of years ago.
Thanks to the partnership with the Quatsino and a stroke of good fortune, the local department was able to cross off everything on its wish list, and plenty more it hadn’t even considered.
“That’s what happens when we work together,” said Chief Tom Nelson.
The truck, a Rosenbauer on a Freightliner chassis, was made as a demonstration model for a U.S. fire department. As a demo truck, the company added all the bells and whistles to showcase the engine.
As a result, Coal Harbour were able to pick up the virtually new truck at a discount and with a slew of optional extras installed.
“It’s a good thing for both communities,” said Wilma Nelson.
Darren Daviduck of Kelowna’s Rocky Mountain Phoenix delivered the engine last week and explained some of the features to members of the fire department.
Featuring a wireless communications system in the Smart Cab, a Smart Start auto primer and generator system and hydraulic ladder access to name a few, there was plenty for Daviduck to show off.
“What’s this for?” asked Hory of an innocuous box with an antenna mounted in one of the truck’s several storage compartments.
“That’s a remote for the deck gun,” explained Daviduck.
“So if we added a deck gun there’s a remote control wired in?” asked Hory, clearly pleased with the discovery.
“You already have one,” said Daviduck. “And this is wireless,” he said pulling the box from it’s mount and demonstrating the controls for the high-powered water cannon.
The deck gun, or monitor, pumps 1,500 gallons per minute, allowing firefighters to tackle a blaze at a distance in dangerous situations, and is one of several bonus options that the members will get to grips with in coming weeks.
The Coal Harbour Fire Department and Quatsino First Nations plan to have an open house event, tentatively slated for sometime in June, to celebrate the successful partnership and to allow the public to inspect the new engine.
The fire department is currently seeking more volunteers, with at least four more members wanted. Anyone interested in volunteering or for more information on becoming a member contact Fire Chief Andrew Hory.