Regional District of Nanaimo directors have voted to allow up to $700,000 of reserve money for a new fire engine for the Extension Volunteer Fire Department. (News Bulletin file)

Regional District of Nanaimo approves $700K for new fire truck for Extension

Fort Garry Fire Trucks Ltd. awarded tender to replace Extension Fire Department’s engine 4

The Regional District of Nanaimo will provide up to $700,000 of reserve money for a new fire truck for Extension Volunteer Fire Department.

The fire department, which has a service zone that includes rural area south of Nanaimo, currently has a Freightliner engine that is 25 years old and must be replaced for insurance purposes. According to a staff report, a request for proposals yielded six proponents, with Fort Garry Fire Trucks Ltd. recommended based on a bid of approximately $694,000 for a four-door vehicle.

At the RDN’s board meeting Tuesday, directors voted in favour of awarding the tender to Fort Garry and allocated up to $700,000 from the Extension Fire Service Vehicle and Equipment reserve fund to allow for the purchase, with $250,000 in 2019 reserves and the remaining $450,000 from 2020 reserves.

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A committee that included Catherine Morrison, RDN manager of emergency services, other RDN staff and Extension fire department members evaluated proposals, according to the report.

In an e-mail, Morrison said the new fire rescue vehicle will be geared toward rural-area firefighting. General specifications include a custom cab and chassis for firefighter safety and tight turning radius, a rear mount pump for narrow road and driveway access, extra water for non-hydrant areas with plumbed-in water monitor for high-volume longer-distance water applications and storage for swift water rescue equipment, hose and other firefighting equipment, she said.

The RDN board also endorsed a pair of $25,000 grant applications to the UBCM. An application for the Extension department would provide money for training with current National Fire Protection Association specifications and accredited staff, something that is important for a rural area, according to Morrison.

“The [department] operates with a limited tax base and must still meet the same training and apparatus standards as any other department,” she said. The UBCM grant will significantly increase training opportunities for the volunteers who dedicate countless hours to providing fire protection and rescue services in the community.”

The other grant would help pay for equipment for the Nanoose department to deal with wildland-urban interface fires.

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