BORDEN-CARLETON – Firefighters in Borden-Carleton got a boost over the weekend, as they received a new addition to their fleet.
Over a year in the making, and a week late due to weather, the crew of volunteer firefighters had something to get fired up over.
“It’s a great-looking truck,” said Paul Murphy, the town’s fire chief. “The guys are all really excited.”
Murphy first went to the town council a year ago, requesting a new truck to replace one from their fleet, as it was about to reach its 20th year of service. After a long process that involved a council vote, getting quotes and having the truck built, the firemen spent the entire night on Friday training on the new rig.
Approving the truck was a no-brainer for the town council, said Mayor Dean Sexton.
“We do whatever we can to back up the firemen as best as we can.”
The acquisition also has big implications on the town, both men agreed. While Borden-Carleton may not be highly populated, there are plenty of big businesses nearby.
“If, God forbid, something should happen at one of those big plants, we have to be prepared to fight it as best as we can,” Murphy said.
Dealing with a small population and many local businesses can be rough for volunteer firemen, who often go out on calls from their own family or friends.
“You can’t think about it,” Murphy said. “The beeper goes, and you’re gone.”
Just last weekend, the crew responded to a five-car pile up on the Confederation Bridge. Venturing out in a snowstorm, the firemen managed to get all the drivers and passengers off the bridge and back to the firehouse.
In such a dangerous job, it’s important to have the best equipment available, Murphy said. The problem with having trucks over 20 years old is that they have to undergo thorough and costly testing annually, and can be difficult to insure. Should anything go wrong, the liability cost could be much larger than the $300,000 price tag on the new truck.
Whether they purchased a new truck or chose to re-up the inspections each year, the price isn’t cheap, Murphy said.
“It’s a very costly system to keep going, either way, but it’s better to be on the safe side of things.”
With the steep cost involved, Sexton and Murphy have begun reaching out to the many businesses in Borden-Carleton’s outlying region.
“That kind of money has a huge impact on a small town like this,” Sexton said. “Any help we can get with it would go a long way.”