The City of Cold Lake awarded two contracts to ensure Cold Lake Fire-Rescue remains well-equipped into the future.
The contracts are part of the city’s 2020 Capital Budget, and include the purchase of a new triple-combination pumper, along with communications equipment that will allow the service to use the Alberta First Responders Radio Communication System.
“We are extremely proud of our Fire-Rescue service and what its members achieve, and Council is happy to support them through a well-planned capital investment strategy that has made these equipment purchases possible,” said mayor Craig Copeland in a press release.
“Between Cold Lake Fire-Rescue’s training, equipment and maintenance, along with the city’s supporting infrastructure including fire hydrants and water flow, Fire-Rescue has long achieved and maintained the highest insurance rating available to paid-on-call services. That’s a credit to their hard work and the community’s support for the excellent service they provide.”
The new triple-combination pumper will replace a 2005 pumper truck which is coming to the end of its service life.
The COVID-19 pandemic as well as ongoing job-related cancer research has prompted the department to secure its first “Clean Cab” system as part of this apparatus purchase.
A Clean Cab system uses high-grade HEPA filters to scrub volatile compounds and an active purification system that kills pathogens, including viruses.
Delivery of the unit is expected in January 2022, with the current Pumper 4 unit remaining in service until that time. The contract was awarded to Fort Garry Fire Trucks with a project cost estimated at $710,000.
The apparatus will be housed at the downtown fire station upon delivery.
“Cold Lake Fire-Rescue has always had a highly motivated, well-trained group of firefighters with just over 60 per cent having served the community for more than 10 years,” said Jeff Fallow, Fire Chief and Manager of Protective Services.
“The Mayor and Council plan for the future to ensure our firefighters are well-equipped and Cold Lake’s paid-on-call fire service delivery model is sustainable into the future. We are very thankful to continue receiving the support and the resources, equipment and infrastructure required to keep our fire service moving forward.”
The AFRRCS is a two-way radio system used by first responders in municipal, provincial and First Nations agencies across Alberta.
The system was first launched in 2016, with the City of Cold Lake opting to wait before adopting it, to ensure any bugs had been worked out.
The project cost of roughly $230,000 will provide Cold Lake Fire-Rescue with the infrastructure, hand-held radio units and pagers needed for the entire fire service, as well as the City’s Community Peace Officers.
The AFRRCS will allow both Cold Lake Fire-Rescue and Peace Officers to communicate seamlessly with other first responders during local and provincial emergencies. The project was awarded to WCI – White Communications Inc. The transition to the new system will take place throughout 2021.
“Our Council has shown consistent commitment to the men and women of Cold Lake Fire-Rescue, just as they have shown consistent dedication to our community and our neighbours,” Copeland said. “Cold Lake Fire-Rescue is a point of pride for our residents as we all appreciate the professionalism and dedication its members bring to their service.”
With a staff of four full-time personnel and about 60 paid-on-call firefighters, Cold Lake Fire-Rescue serves the City of Cold Lake, a large portion of the Municipal District of Bonnyville, and Cold Lake First Nations, with occasional responses into Saskatchewan.