Jan 1, 2018 | Marmot, Winter 2017

A Fire Truck For Mount Washington

Gimme Shelter... Mount Washington's Fire Service has a new fire truck, but no Hall in which to put it yet.
Mount Washington Fire Service purchased their truck from the Fanny Bay Fire Dept.

Procuring the fire truck is just one of several steps the Mount Washington Fire Service Steering Group has taken in the past few months to ensure the Resort community has fire protection.

After nearly a year of study and negotiation, Manager of Fire Service James Bast said the Comox Valley Regional District was poised to choose a Fire Department and sign a Service Agreement after the Marmot Newspaper went to press.

Staff had reviewed proposals from Courtenay and Cumberland Fire Departments and Oyster River Fire Rescue. Bast said once the agreement is signed, a Fire Department would be able to respond to fires on Mount Washington as early as December 2017.

While there was talk of creating a Volunteer Fire Department for Mount Washington, Bast said that’s not feasible. “In order to be a firefighter the Province has pretty strict training regulations,” and creating a small group to train on its own would be cost prohibitive.

If anyone is interested in volunteering they should approach whichever Department is chosen for the service agreement, and join their Team. “They would be training with their comrades in the fight and there’s nothing more valuable than that,” he said.

The Regional District had an opportunity to acquire a GMC pumper truck from the Fanny Bay Fire Department for a transfer price of $10,000 – much less than having to pay full price for a truck, Bast said. “The truck itself was a transfer from another department of the Comox Valley Regional District; the price was reasonable,” he said.

The Fanny Bay Department is required to replace its trucks every 20 years, and had to buy a new truck. The Regional District felt it would be economical to pay the transfer fee for the old Fanny Bay truck now. “It’s got no miles on it. The truck is in really good shape and we needed it; it just made sense that we sell it essentially to ourselves,” Bast said.

The truck will remain in storage until the fire hall is built, in late 2018 at the earliest. “When we do get the fire hall built up there, we’ll be able to back (the truck) in there.”

The cost for the fire hall, estimated at $500,000, was “prohibitive” to start this year, he explained. Land has already been set aside, between the old RV site and below the Maintenance Yard, for a fire hall.

The Regional District has a maximum annual requisition for the fire service, and Bast said there isn’t enough money this year to begin construction. “The costs for the building were higher than expected. If we could wait one more year we might be able to build in 2018,” he said. “I’ll be working with the designers to see if we can pare that down.”

Information on the fire service is updated periodically on the website, www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/mtwashingtonfireproject.

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