Nfld. & Labrador

C.B.S. gets full-time fire brigade

After years of relying mostly on volunteers to man its brigade, the town of Conception Bay South now has its own full time fire department.

Conception Bay South now has its own full-time fire department after years of relying mostly on volunteers to man the town brigade.

Twelve recruits were sworn in at a ceremony Wednesday. While there were some full-time firefighters on staff in Conception Bay South, there weren't enough to respond to calls without having to wait for volunteers to arrive.

Woody French, mayor of the town about 30 kilometres southwest of St. John's, said the department will be responding to all emergency calls, night and day, seven days a week.

"This is certainly a momentous evening for the town of Conception Bay South," he said. "I guess tonight we move into the area of a city. Residents will not have to worry about response in the quiet hours or on the weekends, where sometimes volunteers are busy or out of town. We have had difficulty getting people at the scene of fires."

The full-time department comes on the heels of a weekend fire in the neighbouring town of Paradise. A house burned while volunteer firefighters from C.B.S. and area towns were en route.

Many residents in Paradise have complained the town is too big not to have it's own full-time fire department, which used to be the same argument heard from people in C.B.S.

At the swearing in ceremony Wednesday, recruit Selena Aylward said that as Conception Bay South's population grew, so did the need for a full-time fire department.

"It is a really big deal because C.B.S. is growing," Aylward said. "To be a part of something so major and so big that's come after so long, it's a big deal and a big honour to be here tonight."