HURON-KINLOSS - Fire Chief Chris Cleave informed council on May 17 about one of the less-welcome impacts of amalgamating the Lucknow and District and Ripley-Huron fire departments – the need to replace two pumpers in a 12-month time period in 2023/24.
Both vehicles are nearing the end of their 15-year service life. The Lucknow pumper was purchased in 2008; the Ripley one was placed in service in 2009. The 2009 pumper replaced a 19-year-old vehicle.
While there’s a plan in place for replacement of the Ripley vehicle, there’s no such plan for the Lucknow pumper.
Cleave noted that by current industry standards, “after 15 years it’s no longer considered a front-line pumper.” He said that “it is recommended that apparatus more than 15 years old that have been properly maintained and that are still in serviceable condition be placed in reserve status.”
He was asked about the possibility of purchasing one new pumper and using it for both stations. Cleave said the departments serve two different areas; two pumpers are required.
Cleave will be researching the financial benefits of selling a pumper at 15 years – they’re often bought by other departments wanting a back-up vehicle – compared to refurbishing it and using it for a few more years. He said he’s hoping the figures will show the benefits of not holding onto the vehicles after 15 years.
Deputy Mayor Don Murray said that contrary to what he’s said in the past, he’s of the opinion that “when the time is up, bite the bullet and do it (buy new pumpers) at 15 years.”
Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times