NORTH RIVER, N.S.
The North River and District Fire Brigade is able to purchase new breathing apparatus, thanks to an Emergency Service Provider Fund grant.
Sixty organizations received grants, ranging from $2,342.99 to $20,000, totalling $986,000. The North River and District Fire Brigade has $20,000 to help purchase new breathing apparatus.
“This is about protecting firefighters and other emergency service providers,” said Municipal Affairs Minister Chuck Porter, who was in North River to make the announcement on Oct. 19. “These folks are in need.”
Porter said, as a former volunteer firefighter in Windsor, he is aware of the importance of breathing apparatus, and as a former paramedic he recognizes the value of medical-first responders.
All eligible applications for grants this year were successful.
“As a government, we made some difficult decisions to get the fiscal health of the province in order so that we could do things like this, so we could respond to every request that came from every department,” said Colchester North MLA Karen Casey, who is the Nova Scotia minister of finance. “It’s a challenge to maintain that fiscal balance in our province, but when you do and a little bit of surplus that you have can go to projects like this, it’s worth the effort.”
North River and District Fire Brigade Deputy Chief Guy Gallant said the brigade’s breathing apparatus is 18 years old, and they knew they needed new equipment.
“What this is going to buy us is 14 brand new breathing apparatus that have the newest technology, with thermal imaging cameras for six of the units,” he said. “It gives us more capabilities, and safety for our firefighters.”
He estimates the new equipment will be in use for about 20 years.
The Emergency Services Provider Fund, administered by the Office of the Fire Marshal, offers financial assistance to volunteer fire departments and ground search and rescue groups, including HAZMAT organizations, to upgrade equipment used directly in response to a fire or other emergency. The grants cover up to 75 per cent of the cost, to a maximum of $20,000.
Several other local organizations also received grants.
A complete list can be seen online at https://novascotia.ca/dma/funding/community/emergency-services-provider-fund.asp .