Nfld. & Labrador

New truck a one-stop shop for different emergencies in Happy Valley-Goose Bay

"On our current rescue truck, there's no pump, there's no hose, there's no nothing," said fire chief Brad Butler.

A water supply and the Jaws of Life are just some of the features

Brad Butler, the fire chief for Happy Valley-Goose Bay, says the new response unit is a big step up for his department. (Alyson Samson/CBC)

The Happy Valley-Goose Bay fire department is pumped about its new rural response unit — a one-stop shop of a truck that is equipped for different emergencies. 

"The thought is that it's going to replace our current rescue truck, so on that new truck, it'll have a 300-gallon water tank and a 10-gallon foam supply," says fire chief Brad Butler.

The vehicle will also be equipped with the Jaws of Life, since the department is the regional carrier — for all of central Labrador — for the extrication tool used to help get people out of vehicles.

This rescue truck, also used by another municipality in Labrador, has the chief of the Happy Valley-Goose Bay fire department very excited. (Brad Butler)

The new addition is a major step up from what the current rescue truck that the department relies on, which basically can only store its emergency gear.

"On our current rescue truck, there's no pump,  there's no hose, there's no nothing," Butler said.

That has presented major logistical problems since the job takes firefighters towards the south coast of Labrador as well as along Route 500 towards Churchill Falls.

"So that truck is going alone with no water supply. This new truck will be able to have that new water supply and be able to put the fire out if the vehicle is on fire."

Last year the town of Charlottetown got the same kind of rural response unit, and Butler was inspired when he saw it.

"I said, 'This is the ideal piece of equipment for Goose Bay' and I approached our current MHA at the time, Perry Trimper. We put the application into fire and emergency service and it was approved," Butler said.

Better equipped

Butler said the truck is a resource that will help keep firefighters safe when they respond to a variety of calls.

Happy Valley-Goose Bay has dealt with major fires including the NorthMart fire in September 2018. (Rhona Rea)

"The truck would also be able to be used around town, for car fires or getting in the woods [for] forest fires," Butler said.

"It'll give us more capacity to work," Butler said.

After the provincial election on May 16, a request for tenders will go out for the new truck, Butler said, which costs approximately $190,000.

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