Barry’s Bay – Madawaska Valley Township took delivery of a new $386,000 fire truck last week that replaces one that had been in service for over 30 years and Fire Chief Corwin Quade couldn’t be happier.
“We already can respond within five minutes to a fire call in Barry’s Bay and within seven or eight minutes in the rest of the township,” said Chief Quade, beaming with pleasure, “but this new truck allows us to do a whole bunch of new things we couldn’t do before.”
For instance, the new truck can pump 1,050 gallons per minute and has a 30-gallon C02 fire suppressant foam cell on board, but the real advantage the new truck brings is the high-hat deck on top of the truck with a fire hose that can now powerfully gush 80-feet into the air, allowing volunteer firefighters to respond as never before to any multi-level structure such as might happen at the Champlain Gardens Retirement Lodge or St. Francis Memorial Hospital.
“We’ll now be able to lob water inside a multi-level building, getting past the outside walls as never before,” he said. “It’s effective up to a five-storey building and will allow us to extinguish a fire from outside without having to resort to an aerial ladder.”
And that’s not all. Chief Quade, who knows of what he speaks, waxed eloquent about a dozen other technical innovations the new truck has but he was the first to suggest that no matter how good the new technology of his new fire truck might be, the real difference in any township’s true firefighting ability always rests with the quality of its firefighters.
“We have excellent volunteer firefighters here in the township,” he added, speaking of the volunteers who staff both the fire hall in Barry’s Bay and the one in Combermere. “We have a full compliment with a waiting list of good people who want to join us. And a lot of our volunteers stay with us for 30 years! They are fully trained and quick and when they want to retire, we have great people to replace them with.”
Chief Quade is confident the township is now better protected against any sudden outbreak of fire, be it residential, commercial or a road-side automobile fire. He expects the new truck to last just as long as ‘Old Faithful’ or well over 30 years. The new truck was purchased from Carrier Firetrucks of Brantford and built by Metal-Fab in New Brunswick.
Barry Conway, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eganville Leader