The Liverpool fire department has a new ladder truck.
Liverpool fire department Captain John Long says the vehicle had to be replaced after key mechanical components failed.
“We had some issues with the hydraulic system. Basically, the ladder’s been rendered useless at this point. The estimate was around $100,000 to get it repaired and even that was no guarantee that we were going to be able to get it certified, because there’s an annual certification,” said Long.
The new-to-Liverpool 1992 Spartan ladder truck is six years older than the engine it is replacing but has the same 75 foot ladder reach.
Long says as the only ladder truck in Queens County the engine is called out regularly.
“We run it to all chimney fires, so in the wintertime, fairly frequently. Any structure fires, it’s part of our protocols and certainly mutual aid calls within the county, it’s used fairly frequently,” said Long.
Liverpool fire department brought the ladder truck troubles to Region of Queens council’s attention at their last meeting before Christmas.
The municipality has an agreement in place with the five regional fire departments to provide $275,000 every year towards the purchase of one new engine. The chiefs from Greenfield, Liverpool, Mill Village, North Queens and Port Medway worked out a schedule for when each department would receive the funding.
Liverpool is in line to get the money in 2025 but because of the urgency around losing the county’s only ladder truck, hoped to be permitted to jump the queue.
A request was also made to increase the standard amount allocated from $275,000 to $350,000.
Council did not approve any funding at that time.
Mayor Darlene Norman says Liverpool fire department put forward a plan to buy a used engine at a special council meeting on January 20.
“The decision of the Liverpool fire department is that they needed this truck to get them through the time period,” said Norman. “It was the opinion of everyone on council that, yes, they need this.”
Council agreed to provide a three-year, interest-free loan to the Liverpool fire department for $40,000 plus HST for a total of $46,000.
They bought the ladder truck from the Hartland New Brunswick fire department and picked it up in Digby on Saturday.
Long says the work now begins to raise the money to pay off the loan.
“Well we’ve already started. We’ve had individuals and businesses making some donations to us,” said Long. “We had those start rolling in, actually, I had a lady call me the other day, I’ve got a cheque for you and a bunch of bottles. You want to cash them, come out. [I said] perfect, we’ll take it.”
Long says people can also help by buying tickets on the weekly 50-50 draw held on behalf of firefighters across Nova Scotia.
He says when buying tickets, indicate you wish to support Liverpool and a portion of the contribution will come to their department.
The $5,000 they’ve made from the draw last year will be applied towards repaying the loan as will the proceeds of the sale of the old ladder truck.
Anyone wishing to donate to the new truck fund can do by contacting the Liverpool fire department directly.
Reported by Ed Halverson
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