St. Stephen – At the regular meeting of Town Council in August of 2019, Council approved the following recommendation (RFD FD 13-19): “That Council approves staff to proceed with engaging a consultant to conduct an evaluation of the benefit that an aerial fire truck would have to the region outside of the municipal limits at a cost of $5,250.00, with funding to be drawn from the General Operating Reserve.”
As a result, staff contracted a consultant to conduct the evaluation. The consultant submitted “Analysis of Cost Sharing of a Quint Fire Truck St. Stephen (NB) Fire Dept.” In this report, the consultant made two recommendations which were presented at the regular council meeting held January 15, 2020. The recommendations are as follows:
Option l – That discussions take place at the Regional Service Commission with the member municipalities and local service district representatives, with a view to provide funding of a Quint Fire Truck, operated by the St. Stephen Fire Department, to service occupancies and rescue situations within the boundaries of the Regional Service Commission.
This funding would be done on a cost shared basis, or option 2 – An alternative to Option #1 could be negotiations with the Local Service District serviced by the St. Stephen Fire Department, to subsidize the purchase of a Quint Fire Truck to service occupancies and rescue situations within the boundaries of the St. Stephen Fire Departments current primary response area.
Council will vote on the final decision in an upcoming council meeting. The St. Stephen Fire department currently relies on the availability and usability of the ladder truck owned and operated by the Calais Fire Department in all situations requiring said piece of equipment.
At previous council meetings, fire chief Sean Morton brought to council his concern knowing said Calais truck is an aged piece of equipment and the Calais Fire Department had indicated the truck would not be replaced should it become unusable.
Morton highlighted the need for a ladder truck given the height of buildings such as the Garcelon Civic Center and new apartments being built on the waterfront. Morton also indicated such a piece of equipment is highly preferable when dealing with metal roofs.
The full report can be viewed on the Town of St. Stephen website, www.town.ststephen.nb.ca. Go to the Town Hall tab, and then click “Documents” for the full council package from the January 15 meeting.