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Harbour Grace fire brigade experiencing equipment issues

The fire hall in Harbour Grace.
The fire hall in Harbour Grace. - file photo

Town council looking into cost of fixing repeater system and pumper

HARBOUR GRACE, N.L.

NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR

CANADA

Some extra costs could be coming out of the Town of Harbour Grace budget for some necessary equipment for the local fire brigade.

After seeing plenty of use over the years, some of the Harbour Grace Volunteer Fire Brigade’s equipment is starting to show its age, as was discussed in a council meeting held on Monday Sept. 10.

During the finance committee report, Councillor Kathy Tetford also noted that she had received an email from Fire Chief Jim Barnes recently, informing council that one of the brigade’s water pumpers was experiencing some issues.

Pumper #4, as was explained by Deputy Mayor Sonia Williams – who also represents the brigade as the fire liaison for council – is experiencing some issues with the water it pumps out. Williams said while it still pumps water, it dies out very quickly, so the underlying problem is not fully known, and therefore the cost of fixing it is difficult to estimate.

“I know there was no cost listed for this, but that could prove to be a pretty costly item,” noted Harbour Grace’s chief administrative officer Michael Saccary.

On top of this, both Tetford and Williams explained that the brigade’s repeater system is beginning to show its age. The nearly 15-year-old equipment plays a vital role in the communication aspect of the department, and is seen as something of a priority to be fixed as soon as possible.

Williams spoke up to note that earlier that evening, Barnes reached out to her via email with a cost estimate of $6,500 for the repairs to the repeater system.

“That’s something we need to clear up, because if the money is not in the budget, we’ve got to figure out what we’re going to do there,” said Mayor Don Coombs.

“The repeater system is obviously an emergency – before that, everyone was relying on phone calls and text messages,” added Williams. “It’s an old system, so I guess problems are to be expected, but that’s definitely something we need to get fixed up sooner rather than later.”

Since Monday night's meeting, The Compass was informed that the brigade's repeater system had been repaired the next day, and is back to being fully operational.

chris.lewis@cbncompass.ca

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