Look up… way up.
The Parksville Volunteer Fire Department recently received delivery of its new aerial ladder truck. It is designated as Ladder 49 and replaces one that has been in service for 27 years, seven years beyond recognized frontline service standards.
Ladder 49 was built by Smeal/Spartan Fire Trucks and features a 105-foot (32-metre) aerial ladder, 30 feet (nine metres) taller than the previous ladder. From the time of order, delivery took approximately 18 months following a lengthy process involving research, specifications, request for proposals and evaluation. The project budget was $1.4 million.
“As Parksville and surrounding area continues to grow, so does the need to renew and update the infrastructure that is our fire rescue apparatus fleet,” said fire chief Marc Norris. “Ladder 49 will provide our community as well as our firefighters with the most up-to-date, safe and versatile piece of fire rescue equipment. Residents are welcome to stop by the Parksville firehall during regular hours to view this new vehicle in our fleet which is a key component of our ability to provide appropriate levels of service to our community.”
According to a city release, the new truck is equipped with better braking ability, safer crew compartment, larger fire pump and pumping capacity along with multi-position waterway and standpipe use option. The versatile aerial ladder apparatus offers a variety of services including the rescue of persons on upper floors, access to roofs and upper floors for firefighting operations, overhead water application to upper areas and offers mobile standpipe water supply operations. All members of the department will familiarize themselves with the apparatus including driving, pumping, operation of the aerial ladder and will have on going training simulating use in emergency conditions.
The Parksville department provides a wide range of emergency and non-emergency fire rescue and public services to the Parksville Fire Protection Area, which covers the city and contract areas within the Regional District of Nanaimo including San Pareil, Morningstar, Columbia Beach, French Creek and the Fourneau Road, Wildgreen and Martindale Road areas.
The population of the fire protection area is approximately 19,000, increasing substantially during the summer months. Parksville Fire is made up of 40 volunteer firefighters, four career staff and one full-time clerical staff member.
— NEWS Staff, submitted