A shiny, new tanker truck from Winnipeg pulled into the Vermilion Fire Hall on Tuesday, as part of the county’s capital plan.
The County of Vermilion River (CVR) set out to purchase this one after reaching their 10 year replacement on a 2009 tanker truck at the Vermilion Fire Department.
At approximately 30 members, Vermilion is one of the county’s largest departments with a larger geographical service area, meaning their trucks run a lot of miles.
“For rural firefighting, these tankers are our mobile hydrants. In seven minutes we can fill the 3,000 gallon capacity from sloughs and ponds,” said Orest Popil, CVR Director of Protective Services.
The county’s capital plan began 20 years ago and this new $400,000 purchase brings the county up to five large tankers. Members at each of the eight CVR fire departments receive the same training and work together responding to calls providing mutual aid and extra man power.
“On council’s behalf I would like thank Orest as well as past and present councils for putting aside the funds to have this long term plan. I think they did it at the right time and it makes it easier to maintain a high standard of service,” said Deputy Reeve Stacey Hryciuk.
“We’ve got exceptionally trained and professional (probably above average) firefighters in this county.”
Popil said the front mount turret will allow firefighters to fight fire remotely from a joystick in the truck. For example they would be able to spray a ditch or knock out a window to spray water in a house.
“It’s all about moving water. Being we have a lot of industry/oilfield fires we will call for support from adjacent jurisdictions. Once staged, they can take 10 minutes to put out with the capacity, equipment, and training to do it,” said Popil.
Vermilion’s used tanker will be going to service the Blackfoot Fire Department.
The 2009 truck is said to still have a lot of life left in it, and Blackfoot firefighters are thrilled to receive it.
Their past tanker was from 1980 and no longer reliable.
Blackfoot Fire Chief, Brad Parkinson, said this truck will give them a higher capacity of water, more reliability, and is equip with a front nozzle. Their 23 volunteer members will begin training on it today.
“Reliability is huge – being able to supply water for a structure fire enables us to operate without depending on other sources,” said Peterson.