Telkwa Fire Department applies for grant money

Fire chief is hoping to add some new equipment as well as new boots and helmets to the department

The Telkwa Fire Department is hoping for some money to upgrade their equipment.

Fire chief Laurence Turney asked for council’s blessing to apply for a grant at their Nov. 12 meeting.

The Community Emergency Preparedness Fund created funding this year for volunteer fire departments in B.C. and Turney is hoping to get a piece of the pie.

He told council that maintaining an operational fire department requires a significant investment for apparatus, equipment, infrastructure and personnel which can be challenging due to constraints from a limited tax base.

He added using grants to meet the regulatory requirements for safety and supply of services can increase the safety of volunteer members of the department.

Turney proposed to apply for the $25,000 grant which would require Telkwa Fire Rescue to add $5,000 toward the purchases. The money would come from their existing budget and would be used to purchase a couple of things.

The first is a remote control monitor that can apply water from Engine 11 by the pump operator without requiring the deployment of hoses or requiring the personnel to operate the nozzle.

“This gives us an option if we have a fire, a structure fire or wildland fire and we are short during the day of personnel, the driver-pump operator can use a remote control and shoot out water at the fire and give us time to get the rest of the crew there without having to lay lines,” said Turney.

The money would also go to new wildland fire helmets with goggles, chin straps and neck shrouds.

“Right now we are using basic hard hats and that isn’t useful in a good fire,” he added.

The grant would also allow the fire department to buy new boots that meet WorksSafe BC standards.

Council voted unanimously to approve the submission of the application and provide grant management for Telkwa Fire Rescue if successful.

“Thank you for the report and recognizing that maintaining an operational fire department requires a significant amount of work,” said Coun. Annette Morgan.

“I just want to thank you and your team for keeping on top of these opportunities to enhance services in our community, it is really important.”

Turney said they should know if their application is successful in February.

If it is approved, he added they will be soliciting some quotes for the equipment they are looking to purchase quite quickly, with a plan to have them in their possession and be training with them before May.

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