Fire service upgraded

Richard Froese
South Peace News
Big Lakes County has chipped in funding for a new side-by-side all-terrain vehicle based at Kinuso fire hall.

At its regular meeting Feb. 8, county council approved a recommendation by fire chief Leo Tobin, to grant $20,000 towards the total cost estimated at $50,651.57.

“This piece of equipment in conjunction with the rescue craft located in the Faust fire hall would cover a broader range of rescue and safety for taxpayers as well as a marketing tool to attract tourists to our region,” Tobin states in a report to council.
“History has proven that we are not ready for rescue in winter months on the ice, in the woods and on land.”

The equipment will become the sole property of Big Lakes County and stored at the Kinuso fire hall to be used by all fire halls in the county.

Kinuso fire unit has received a matching grant of $23,260 from the provincial Community Initiatives Program (CIP), and a non-matching grant of $10,000 from Farm Credit Canada AgriSpirit Fund.

“They raised a lot of money and we have money in our budget,” Kinuso Councillor Ken Killeen says.

Tobin suggests council contribute funding for the “hardworking dedicated Kinuso firefighters” because they raised more than 60 per cent of the purchase price of the unit.

Overall, the addition includes a 2016 Polaris Ranger Crew with enclosed cab and heat valued at $31,360.70, a trailer for $4,569, a rescue skid for $7,500, wildland skid for $4,000, and emergency lights and radio for $3,221.27.

“This will enhance the safety of firefighters in blizzard and storm conditions, land rescues, ice rescues, and rescue of individuals who are lost,” Tobin says.

Faust Councillor and fire chief Robert Nygaard says the side-by-side can also be used to fight wildfires when the ground may be too muddy or unsuitable for a regular fire vehicle to access.

Joussard Councillor Ed Podollan expressed he does not support the funding for the project but did not cite a reason.

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