County budgets for a pair of new fire trucks

Richard Froese
For the Lakeside Leader

Big Lakes County Fire Services will get two new trucks by the end of the year. Council approved $800,000 for the vehicles at its Jan. 23 meeting.

One – budgeted at $495,000 – is a wildland-urban engine that will be based in High Prairie. The other is a $300,000 multi-purpose rapid-rescue unit slated for the Grouard district.

In a report to council fire chief John McDermott said the new trucks will improve service to the county.

“Both vehicles will be able to safely address traditional structural firefighting operations,” he said, “not only in both urban and rural settings, but wildland-urban fires where many of our county residents live in forested areas.”

McDermott’s report said the Grouard area has the most wildland incidents, so a second light unit would be helpful there. Over the last three years, council heard, the Grouard team responded to an average of six wildfire calls per year, ahead of Kinuso’s five.

McDermott said the Grouard unit will be identical to a new fire/rescue truck that arrived last June for Joussard.

“It’s really two units in one,” he said.

McDermott said the rapid-rescue unit would also be valuable when the local crew responds to motor vehicle collisions on Hwy. 750.

The fire engine to be based in High Prairie will be similar to the one that arrived last June for the Enilda fire district. It has an 800-gallon tank and foam capability.

The vehicles are expected to arrive in about 11 months. Both are part of the fire service’s schedule to replace vehicles after 20 years of service.

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