The Municipal District of Bonnyville Council votes unanimously to discuss future capital purchases for the new Ardmore and Fort Kent Fire halls. The purchases will be added to the Bonnyville Regional Fire Authority (BRFA) upcoming 2022 Budget.
“The capital items were not previously budgeted for and will be considered an additional expense for the BRFA, come M.D. Budget deliberations in the fall,” Greg Sawchuk Reeve, MD of Bonnyville No. 87 told Lakeland Connect.
The capital purchases total for both fire halls is approximately $165,000.
BRFA is requesting the purchase of the following items for both new fire halls for the approximate costs: breathing air compressor – $60,000, washer and dryers which cost $12,500, and kitchen appliances (refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, microwave oven) totaling $10,000. The approximate cost for each Firehall for the items listed is $82,500.
Currently, the existing fire halls in Ardmore and Fort Kent do not have these items.
Jay Melvin, Regional Fire Chief says that the new halls were designed for a 30 year plus plan of service and these items are a must. Currently, items are being shared between the three stations.
“The Fort Kent members would come to Bonneville station and either swap bottles or fill bottles,” Chief Melvin said with regards to the air compressor. “And for the firefighter ensemble, we have the big commercial washer and dryer here at the Bonnyville station that’s designed for firefighter ensemble so you can bet you don’t destroy the gear during a normal wash and dry cycle.”
Chief Melvin says you can’t just put firefighter gear in your residential type washer and dryer. That’s not what it’s designed for, therefore stations are sharing. Chief Melvin explained that he thinks it’s important for every community to have its own equipment.
“I think, it’s important for each station and each community to have this equipment,” Chief Melvin said. “It is starting to become pretty much standard equipment when you’re building or when you’re operating fire services.”
Chief Melvin says ideally when these guys go out on a call, whether it be two in the morning or two in the afternoon, that once they’re done they can get the fire truck back in service and get gear ready for the next call.
Having to share equipment is prolonging this process.