NORTH RIVER, N.S. – Members of the North River Fire Brigade held their 45th anniversary banquet Saturday evening, inviting other fire department members, government officials and important public figures into their newly renovated fire hall for the first time.
“Where we’re standing, by the doorway, used to be a stage,” said John MacKay, 2nd deputy chief of the brigade, on the recent changes to the hall.
“We figured instead of buying trucks to fit the hall we had, there are substantial savings on renovating the hall instead. One of our trucks was custom built just to fit in the old hall, which costs us over $10,000 more on top of its price to buy.”
Before the renovations, majority of the fire hall was taken up by the reception area, which included a dance floor and stage.
Now, the hall has a smaller but much brighter reception area, making way for three new truck bays and allowing for the new purchase of a brand new heavy response truck – A 2018 Freightliner that will be replacing the brigade’s old 1994 GMC emergency van.
“We’re catching up with the times, you could say,” said MacKay on the new truck and new truck bays.
“Its more truck than we need right now, but looking ahead with how things are going, it’s exactly what we’ll need in the next five years. Maybe in 20 or 25 years, we may need more, but you really don’t know. This truck is a right step towards the future, though.”
Along with the newly added workspace, a new radio centre was added, equipped with a new digital responder tracking system called IamResponding.
At the banquet, both current and former members of the brigade were honoured and presented awards for the hard work, dedication and time they put into the brigade.
The evening included a meal served by the Truro North River 4-H Club, followed by speeches from brigade members, current and former fire chiefs, Colchester County mayor Christine Blair and North Colchester MLA Karen Casey.
Wrapping up the evening was a dance with live music by Truro cover band Nowhere Road.
“45 years is a major milestone for any fire brigade,” said MacKay.
“This year was kind of a big deal for us, and there were quite a few milestones hit that we feel are quite impressive.”