Telkwa Fire Department. (Marisca Bakker photo)

Telkwa fire truck to be repaired almost six months after breaking

Telkwa council ups budget to cover costs

The Telkwa Fire Department is making some repairs to one of its trucks.

The fire department has been using Engine 11 in a reduced capacity since early November when they actually started the repair work and took apart the transfer case.

“Once we got the pump and the transfer case apart, we found that the damage wasn’t to bearings, but to several gears, which required us to order additional parts to repair them,” said Fire Chief Laurence Turney.

“At the moment Engine 11 is not in service and we are continuing to use Rescue 11 and Tender 21 to respond to any calls in the fire response area and will do that until Engine 11 is repaired and back in service.”

At Tuesday night’s council meeting, council moved to increase the budget for the repairs to $4,000 and the money will come out of the fire department equipment reserve, at the finance director’s recommendation.

Turney explained to councillors there were actually two failures.

“Initially, we had hoped that a bearing had failed and caused the metal in the oil that we found in July. It turned out it was the gear had been engaged improperly. Normally this gear inhibits engaging when the pump is in motion by a switch and it appeared that switch had failed.

We also had an issue with the initial engagement with it, which wasn’t up to our standard operating procedures.”

He added the gear that is pushed into the main gear to engage the pump sheered off a number of teeth so it needs to be replaced. There is also damage to the idler gear.

“To prevent further damage down the road, we would replace both those parts,” he said. “We finally received the cost estimate for those parts, it is approximately $2,700 US, which at the current rate puts us at $3,400 plus shipping. To replace that piece and allow us to continue using our cabs, which is a compressed air foam system for use in fighting fires in cars and structures, we would need more funding to repair the parts.”

READ MORE: Regional district frustrated with CN response to grievances

Coun. Leroy Dekens asked if any of it would be covered under warranty.

But Turney told him that not in a truck of that age.

“It was an electronic failure, it was covered for three years after we purchased the truck in 1999 and that is it.”

It will take a week to get the parts and a couple of days to put everything together.

In the meantime, the fire department will use Tender 21, which is their large water tanker truck, that has the ability to also pump water if needed and Rescue 11 also has the ability to pump water, but has a limited water supply as it is designed to just provide fire suppression on smaller fires such as wildland or motor vehicle fires.

They have also kept Smithers Fire Rescue up to date and told them they may require mutual aid, if need be.


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