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Vermilion pulls trigger on $1.4 million fire truck

Image credit: Iain Menzies.

The Town of Vermilion is reinforcing their firefighting efforts.

The town has purchased a $1.35 million firetruck with a ladder and pumper.

The new piece of equipment takes 14 months to build and will not arrive until the late summer/early fall of 2020.

“It gives us a much better ability to fight fires in tall structures in our community,” said CAO George Miller.

“Also, more safety for our personnel, which is critical. Not only are we trying to save buildings, but we want to do it and keeping our personnel safe. And this piece of equipment it’ll have the capacity of two firefighters in the bucket. And also it has the ability to operate that ladder remotely.”

The new firetruck was in the 2019 budget.

Vermilion runs four to five firetrucks that respond to the fires in the town and a rescue unit, and responds to roughly 60 per cent of the fires in the County of Vermilion River, Miller said.

“It’s very modern and should be a very capable, versatile piece of equipment, which will also not only serve the town, it will also serve structures out in the county,” said Miller.

“We have a mutual aid agreement with the county and we actually do probably 60 per cent of the responses out into the county.

“We do the bulk of the rescue, so on the highway accidents in the highways and in and around us. We’ve got a rescue unit, and we do most of the responses for highway accidents.”

The Vermilion Fire Department has almost 30 firefighters as part of their fully-trained rescue squad.

The truck is an American buy will be serviced out of Red Deer and hopes to be worth the price for Vermilion residents.

“You have to be strategic in terms of what you buy because you’re going to use it for a long time. So we don’t have a ladder. We’ve had just a pump up until now and we have a pumper that’s coming up for replacement.

“It has been in the budget, it was in the budget for this year. It could’ve been put off if we didn’t think we found the right equipment…tariffs in the US also made the deal complicated with steel and the fluctuation of the Canadian dollar,” said Miller.