Divergent views on fire department needs

  • Apr. 20, 2011 8:00 a.m.

The proposed purchase of a fire truck is a bone of contention between certain parties in the District of Sooke’s municipal complex.

Councillor Herb Haldane feels the transaction is a needless show of extravagance while Fire Chief Steve Sorensen and CAO Evan Parliament see the deal as necessary and timely.

Procedural points are perceived differently by the staff members and the elected council member.

“We’re using a truck that we’ve already retired once before, as a reason for going after $250,000 more for a number four truck,” Haldane said last week.

Further, the councillor cited the likelihood that the retired truck would be sold to the Town of Sidney. He said if it is good enough for Sidney it should be good enough for Sooke.    

Questioned on these and other points, Chief Sorensen declared that the truck in question was not “retired” in 2006, but relegated to second line service.

Many fire department-related decisions are strongly influenced by the Fire Underwriters Survey (FUS) – a means of assessing a community’s fire fighting capability, and thus the insurance rates payable by its residents.

Sorensen pointed out that the FUS actually recommends that front line trucks be replaced every 15 years, but Sooke goes with 20 years. Trucks between 20 and 25 years of age are classed as second line assets.

Unit No. 204, the spare, has apparently come to the end of the line, in Sooke, at least. 

“You can keep it but it has no credit… so it can affect people’s insurance rates,” the chief related.

“Now that the reserve truck is 26 years old, and needs $30,000 worth of work for us to keep it safely on the road, we need to get rid of it.”

As for the point made by Councillor Haldane about a possible deal with the Town of Sidney, the CAO stated,

“A lot of fire departments dispose of their vehicles to other fire departments which can use them for a bunch of different reasons,” said Parliament. “Sometimes they go to different provinces.”

“We’ve got four pumper trucks right now. We’re going to get rid of the fourth truck and get another brand new one.” Haldane said.  

“It’s being officially retired at the end of this year,” said Parliament, as we anticipate to replace it with a newer vehicle in 2012, capped at $250,000.”

Sorensen says two are being considered – a larger used model and a smaller new one.

The CAO indicated the money is in the Fire Department Reserve Fund, part of the 2012 Capital Budget which has received first and second reading and could be adopted in the next couple of weeks.

news@sookenewsmirror.com

 

Just Posted

Sixty Sooke homes needed to host Japanese students

Homestay program offers visitors a taste of life in Canada

Cans and bottles destined for Cops for Cancer fundraiser stolen from Sooke RCMP Detachment

Cans and bottles collected to raise funds for Canadian Cancer Society

Victoria Fire Department raises $93,000 for Ride to Conquer Cancer

A total 18 firefighters took part in the 200 km ride last month

Colwood taking steps to improve intersection safety after two motor vehicle incidents in one week

Pedestrian and cyclist struck in two separate incidents at Sooke and Metchosin Roads

PHOTOS: The King of Rock and Roll runs the 25th Annual King and Queen of the Hill Race

Lambrick Park Secondary students, staff, alumni take on Mount Douglas

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

One-in-five British Columbians think they’ll win big while gambling: study

Roughly 58 per cent of British Columbians bought at least one lottery ticket in past year

Resident finds loaded shotgun inside a duffle bag in Kelowna alleyway

RCMP seized a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, clothing and other items

Graffiti, calls and Snapchat: RCMP probe string of threats targeting Kamloops schools

There have been nine different threats made to four different schools in the city

B.C. truck drivers to face higher fines for not using winter tire chains

As of Oct. 1, not using chains on the highway when required could net you a $598 ticket

Singh campaigns in Toronto, May in Winnipeg, as Liberal and Tory leaders pause

All parties expected to be back on the campaign trail Sunday

Most Read