Garden River Fire Department has added a new pumper truck to its fleet of emergency vehicles — 25 years after acquiring its last one.
The new fire truck, manufactured last year by Fort Garry Fire Trucks out of Winnipeg, Man., was delivered to the fire hall Thursday morning. The purchase of the truck was first approved by Garden River chief and council nearly two years ago, but supply shortages and other delays during the COVID-19 pandemic held up the highly anticipated acquisition.
“We still have to name her, we’ve got to put our decals and everything on still,” said longtime firefighter and former band councillor Craig Sayers.
The pumper truck was funded through Indigenous Services Canada to the tune of more than $300,000 — marking just the second time in the fire department’s history the federal government has funded one of its vehicles since 1972.
“I’m very proud to stand here and receive this truck on behalf of the citizens and our fire department. It’s been a long time coming,” said former fire chief Steve Nolan. “It is something our young firefighters will build on.
“It will help our community.”
Other than a bit of funding for operations and maintenance, the Garden River Fire Department has largely relied upon its own fundraising efforts in order to acquire equipment and infrastructure since the mid-90s.
“Our old truck’s been through the ringer, so it’s nice to actually have nice, new equipment,” said deputy fire chief Luke Pine.
Garden River Fire Department also received new extraction tools earlier this week, funded by Indigenous Services Canada to the tune of somewhere between $50,000 and $60,000.
Pine and others credited the work of Garden River leadership and supporters of the fire department for their help in modernizing its infrastructure.
“We did a lot of work getting to this point, and we had a lot of people involved along the way,” said Pine. “It wasn’t just a one-man show.”
The new pumper is expected to be ready for duty in about two weeks’ time.
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