Firefighters frustrated with village commission

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‘We need to find a way to make things work better ...'

BIBLE HILL - Bible Hill Fire Chief Dwane Mellish feels that a new method of communication is needed between the fire brigade and the village commission.

He calls a recent struggle to obtain approval for the purchase of a washer for fire brigade gear "the last straw after a series of issues" and 11 brigade members showed up to support that view at last night's village commission meeting.

The brigade developed specifications and got prices for a washer/extractor that would remove toxic materials from fire gear. Mellish had hoped a motion to purchase the machine would be made at the commission meeting on Nov. 13, but no one made a motion. He said Commissioner Donna Van Kroonenburg, who is supportive, could not make a motion because she was chairing the meeting.

During last night's meeting, Van Kroonenburg did make the motion, and it was passed, but commissioner Dale McLeod made a motion to send a letter expressing concerns to the brigade.

"We want to be sure there is proper training in the use of the machine," said village chairman Tom Burke. "When something goes into the washer it should all be documented. We want the men to be as safe as they can be."

After leaving the meeting Mellish explained the machine works like any other washer.

"There were a couple of things during the last couple of years that took a lot of work to get approved," he said. "Our budget falls totally under the commission for all activities and we feel the cooperative effort is not as good as it should be. We need a better process to make good, sound decisions and we need to be adequately funded.

"Everything we've done has been researched and brought together in a sound, reasonable way. As volunteers we need to focus on getting new members and training, not putting our energy into fighting for everything we need."

He said things need to be discussed in an informal manner.

He said gear had been sent out for cleaning after extreme fires but with this machine, which costs about $8,000, they can clean things more often, which is much safer for the firefighters.

Mellish added he was disappointed the issue of upgrading the security system for the fire hall was not on the evening's agenda.

"We need to find a way to make things work better because this system's broken."


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Recent comments

  • mark langille
    November 22, 2012 - 10:22

    Am I the only one in Colchester County who finds all of these issues with our local government and services such as fire, police, public works, etc. frustrating? Here's my proposal: amalgamate all of Colchester County, Truro and Stewiacke into a single regional municipality. Merge all the fire departments in the county into a single regional fire service with companies operating out of each station and several engine platoons per station. Have a regional police service (either RCMP or municipal). Have a regional public works department. Have a consistent infrastructure design across the entire county, etc.

  • Raymond Reid
    November 21, 2012 - 11:57

    I agree with Wade why is the village commission meddeling with things that they know little if anything about, do they answer fire calls and go out to see if our fire dept. is doing things right at the fire sence no, but want to control the dept. They need to attend, to more important issues and let the professional fire fighters do their job, they have the training ,knowledge,and the skills required to deal with emergency situations, how many on the village commision have this training and dedication to our community. Village commision get of your power trip, quit trying to take over and run things. you are not qulified to do.I salute our fire dept.

  • Marie
    November 21, 2012 - 08:38

    "When something goes into the washer it should all be documented. We want the men to be as safe as they can be." .....hello?!? These guys go into burning buildings. Surely they can handle a washing machine!

      November 21, 2012 - 10:31

      As County Councillor for District 11 Bible Hill I was at both meetings earlier. It seems to me that the local Fire Brigade (Bible Hill ) is being micro manage by the Village Commission. One thing that bothers me greatly is the fact that they can not get along. This is to bad for our community and these people are volunteers who put there life on the line for us. Maybe its time the village steps away form the brigade and lets these well trained members like other county brigades manage there own affairs.