By Kevin J. Sabo
For the Advance
The County of Paintearth council has approved the funding of a new 20-ft. cargo trailer for Castor Volunteer Fire Rescue.
Castor Fire Chief requested the funding for the new trailer as the current trailer is overloaded, and no longer has room for their needs.
Also factoring into the equation is the fact that due to the weight being hauled, the County of Paintearth shop has had to repair the hitch a couple of separate times.
“I question it,” said Reeve Stan Schulmeister. “I think we need an inventory of what is being hauled and compare it to what Coronation is carrying. They are similar-sized departments. They should be playing on the same field.”
The trailer in question is the Castor Fire Department’s Regional Response Trailer, which carries a variety of rescue equipment including such that is needed for trench rescue, high angle rescue, and cribbing to support unstable vehicles at accident scenes.
Over the years, more equipment has been added to the trailer, and it is now overloaded.
“It was recommended, by the County welder and foreman, to lighten the load,” wrote Chief Kelly in the request letter.
“Unfortunately, that would leave valuable lifesaving at the firehall during calls. We do not know what exactly every call will entail on scene and have discovered new and better equipment to do our job and need it on site.”
County Chief Administrative Officer Michael Simpson pointed out to council that it was not necessarily their place to decide if the equipment is needed, but to decide if they will fund it.
“It’s not council’s decision whether the trailer is necessary, the chief has already made the decision,” said Simpson.
“It’s about whether you want to release your (fire) surplus early. It’s up to you every time whether you want to fund it.”
With the purchase of the new trailer, the existing gear would be split between the old and new trailer.
Council received two quotes for the new trailer, one for $26,500 and the other for $17,500, the latter of which was chosen for acceptance in a motion by Coun. Maurice Wiart.
“I’ll make the motion that we give them the funds for the less trailer,” said Wiart. “Are we going to second-guess our fire chief?”
The new trailer will feature a 7,000-lb weight limit and have tracking on the floor in order to secure the equipment being hauled.
Coun. Wiart’s motion was carried, though as part of it both Castor’s and Coronation’s fire departments will be asked to supply the County with an equipment inventory.