A rural community just south of Highway 16 will get funds to improve their fire services.
On Tuesday, the County of Vermilion River Council carried a motion to contribute $125,000 of Capital Fire Vehicles Reserve towards the Paradise Valley Fire Department’s (PVFD) purchase of a new rescue truck.
CAO Harold Northcott said the contribution would be a portion of the $185,000 total cost, with Chief Nicholas Dobson’s report showing $20,000 coming from PVFD fundraising, $20,000 PVFD wage donations, and the remaining $20,000 coming from the village.
“PVFD covers the entire district south of Highway 16. The apparatus they have chosen is very wise – it’s not a big truck (a pickup truck style) because they can go places a heavy truck can’t go, especially with the road bans we are currently seeing, and we are expecting a lot of grass fires with the lack of moisture in the area,” said Director of Protective Services, Kirk Hughes.
“They need that truck to provide service for our county, and it’s good cost sharing. Now is the time to seize the opportunity – I don’t think you will see this generous of contribution from firefighters again.”
Councillor Stacey Hryciuk said council was aware of the struggles of small municipalities and she was extremely impressed with the fundraising by the volunteers.
“The PVFD is very well managed, they are just relying in very old equipment,” said Hughes.
The new truck is expected to last approximately 20 years. He said the request was put forward for a median level of equipment – not luxury, and not lacking.
“What they plan to put on the truck is more than adequate. In the future we can look at purchasing additional equipment for specialty calls if needed,” said Hughes.
In recent years, he said firetrucks have gone up in price considerably, and the pre-planning done by past director Orest Popil, knowing that trucks would become more expensive, allowed for these funds to be available, and that he will continue to calculate for inflation in the future.
He said this request came in after the budget was out, but because it’s of high priority that this is what their capital reserves are for.
“The rescue truck will come out of reserves and not impact capital budgeting,” said Hughes.
New to his role, when asked if their capital budget was enough, Hughes said he’s never seen a healthier capital reserve budget than in the County of Vermilion River.
He was happy to see this because his work involves making sure they have the right people and the right apparatus’ in place.