Fredericton firefighters canvass over 'reduced service'
Door-to-door pamphlet campaign focuses on tanker truck's best and safest use
Fredericton firefighters are set to start a door-to-door pamphlet campaign to win over residents' votes on how a 1,000-gallon tanker truck will be used in the city.
Of the three tanker trucks in Fredericton, the one at the Northside Fire Station was used for a variety of calls, along with the ladder truck.
But a recent reassignment of a firefighter to bring another tanker crew at another station up to par, will force Northside firefighters to use either a tanker or a ladder truck — not both.
But they will be getting a rescue truck, which has no fire-response gear.
Firefighters say things were safer the old way, said Blair Sullivan, president of the Fredericton Firefighters Association.
"We can run medical calls with tankers, we can't run fire calls with medical-response vehicles," said Sullivan.
Firefighters first launched a social media campaign, and will soon hand out over 10,000 pamphlets door to door.
"It isn't meant to scare people, it's meant to generate conversation and have people contact their councillor and say they're not happy with this reduction in service, because it is a reduction in service," said Sullivan.
"I'm going to make it very clear, we still have the same number of firefighters, the same number of equipment, the same number of stations," said Fredericton Fire Chief Paul Fleming.
"Our service is going to improve. The vehicle at Station 2 responds to 64 per cent of medical-related calls. We're changing to the equipment that best suits that."
Late Wednesday afternoon, Sullivan received an email from Fleming quoting a chapter of the fire department rules and regulations. It says there can be no canvassing of the public without his permission.
Sullivan says firefighters still intend to distribute their pamphlets.