By Bryan Passifiume
ECA Review Reporter
The Coronation Fire Department appeared as a delegation at the Monday, November 26 meeting of Coronation Town Council to give an update on the department’s equipment and financial situation.
According to Fire Chief Keith Rindal, the department is having a difficult time finding bunker gear for new members. In addition, some members are in need of new boots which cost between $300 and $500 per pair.
Bunker gear consists of essential equipment needed for a firefighter to safely perform their duties and consists of a coat, pants, coveralls, helmet, hat, gloves, boots and balaclava. Current members are using a mix of gear purchased over the years, but according to Rindal there isn’t enough to go around, and some of the newer members don’t fit into the surplus gear the department currently has available. A new set of bunker gear costs around $2000.
Another concern are the condition of the department’s breathing apparatus. The fire department currently owns 19 units which consist of an air storage tank, a mask, harness and a regulator.
“We’ve gotten the bottles re-tested,” Rindal told council, “but it’s our masks and our harnesses — I do believe they are outdated.”
Rindal told council that the units will cost around $2000 each to replace which he would like to see done at the rate of one or two per year.
The fire department is also seeking help with their administration and bookkeeping. Rindal told council that they had approached relatives of fire department members for assistance, but have had little luck. Between their day jobs and the demands of keeping up on training, Rindal said that he and his team simply don’t have time to keep the department’s books in order.
“Most of the members are oilfield members,” Rindal said. “We just don’t have the time.”
Coronation CAO Sandra Kulyk agreed with Rindal that help was needed, but wasn’t able to provide town resources to assist them. She suggested that the department actively seek volunteers in the community to help the department out.
As for funding, Coronation Mayor Dawna Elliot proposed creating a spreadsheet so council would have a better idea of what the fire department’s financial needs are, and what purchases should be considered essential.
Repairing the roof at the Coronation fire hall was also brought to council’s attention. According to CAO Kulyk, several contractors responded to a tender to repair the roof, but only one took a key to inspect the building and didn’t submit a bid. Kulyk told Rindal that the tender will be re-issued in the spring. Both Rindal and Councillor Eugene Rovensky informed council that other issues in the hall, such as paint, interior renovations and mould removal, cannot be remedied without first ensuring the roof is in good order.