On Thursday, January 21st, the South Bruce Fire Rescue – Mildmay Carrick Station #180 received a highly anticipated delivery of new breathing apparatus.
A total of 12 new self-contained breathing apparatuses (known as SCBA) were received enthusiastically by the local firefighters. SCBAs are used by firefighters to help them breath when they are in hazardous conditions.
These new SCBAs are replacing the nearly 20 years old equipment that was in use. In July of last year, Deputy Fire Chief Doug Waechter presented a report to the South Bruce Council highlighting the need for new SCBAs. Waechter explained that the age of their current SCBA, combined with the difficulties and expense to repair them, made the need for new equipment urgent.
The cost to replace the SCBA packs was estimated to be approximately $120,000 and the report requested $100,000 from the Nuclear Waste Management Organization’s (NWMO) Community Well Being Fund in South Bruce. The Mildmay Firefighters Association also contributed approximately 16,000$ from funds raised by the volunteer firefighters and community support.
At the July 14, 2020 meeting, Council approved the amount requested, which made the purchase of 12 brand new, up-to-standard SCBA packs (including cylinders and masks) a possibility.
“We are very thankful for the tremendous support for the South Bruce Fire Rescue in our community and for the dedication of our firefighters. These SCBAs, with up-to-date safety requirements, will help protect our members and residents for the next 15 to 20 years,” said Guy Gallant, Fire Chief for the Municipality of South Bruce.
“We’re extremely fortunate to have such a dedicated group of firefighters in South Bruce who are on the front lines keeping our community safe,” said Cherie Leslie, Senior Engagement Advisor for the NWMO. “The NWMO is happy to support the Municipality as they build local capacity and ensure our firefighters have the equipment they need to do their job safely and effectively.”
Community Well-Being Funding is a NWMO program designed to support investments in sustainability and wellbeing. Specifically, it exists for communities that are continuing to participate in the site selection process for the Project to manage Canada’s high level nuclear waste in a deep geological repository (DGR).
Once the firefighters at Station #180 are properly trained on the use and care of the new SCBA equipment, they will be put to use keeping the members safe as they protect the community in unsafe situations.
“The difficulty now is to get all the firefighters trained within the context of COVID-19” said Waechter. “We have had to train in small groups and maintain all the safe practices such as masking, social distancing and sanitizing, which has caused the training to take about four times longer than normal.”