STEWIACKE: The new medical/light rescue truck for Stewiacke was looking nice and shiny under the overcast skies on Jan. 28. Of course, it helped that it had been washed three times already, and it had yet to see the road for a call.

Stewiacke Volunteer Fire Department took possession of its new medical/light rescue fire truck from its manufacturer, Rocky Mountain Phoenix Atlantic. The new truck will allow firefighters the capability of serving the community better.

“This is our primary truck per se, it definitely goes to the most calls,” said Deputy Fire Chief Brandon Verboom in an interview on Jan. 28. “It’s used for medical responses and we do about 50 per cent of our calls are medical calls.”

The new unit is built on a Ram 3500 4×4 chassis that was repainted to match the existing fleet vehicles.It includes space for four air bottles; spare air cylinder storage, and holsters for signage and traffic wands. On the front bumper is a 10,000 lbs winch.

Painted in the department’s insignia colours, the truck will be very visible thanks to Lighting by Viviox and Code 3, while people will be able to hear it as a result of the Code 3 Z3 and Banshee dual tone siren combination.

It is replacing a medical truck they got in 1999, which has served the department well but it was beginning to have a few issues.

“Because it had such a high demand it was time to get a new one,” said Verboom. “The more gear we’re requiring for calls nowadays, we were having a hard time finding space for it on the old rescue truck. This new one has a slide out tray which is great for efficiency and space management.

“It allows us to be safer and feasible by pulling the tray out.”

Verboom said the department has been saving up for the new truck for quite some time now, and a recent Chase the Ace fundraiser did contribute some to the purchase of the new truck. The bulk of the fundraiser money is going towards new air packs.

“We have been budgeting for this for a couple of years,” he said. “The truck is paid in full, there was no taxpayers money involved.”

He said it has a lot of on scene safety lighting for the firefighters so they will be seen while working after dark.

“It’s safer for us to use and people in the community will see it more,” he said.

Verboom said the new truck brings a morale boost to members of the department.

“It’s definitely a morale boost,” he said. “We had a breakfast this morning with all of us, moved the gear from one truck to the new truck. It was nice to have everybody together.

“Of course, it’s something new and shiny too. Like anything you get new, it makes you feel better about yourself. We’ve washed it three times already I think.”

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Patrick Healey
Pat has grown up in East Hants, having called Milford, and now Enfield home. He graduated from the journalism program at Holland College in 2001, and has spent time at newspapers in NL and Alberton and Summerside, PEI before becoming a reporter/photographer at The Weekly Press/The Laker in October 2008. He has a rescue kitty named Asha that is much loved—and spoiled. Pat is also our "social engagement guru." Check him out on twitter!