Plans to purchase a new water tender for the Nicholson Fire Department will proceed, despite a sizeable price increase.
Columbia Shuswap Regional District directors agreed unanimously to an amendment to the 2023 Five Year Financial Plan in the amount of $160,000 to accommodate the purchase price
The truck, whose purchase was approved unanimously at the Sept. 14 board meeting in Salmon Arm, will allow the Nicholson Fire Department to acquire a superior tanker shuttle accreditation (STSS).
The fire department has been planning for a water tender purchase since the hall was expanded in 2016. Additional space in the hall has created an opportunity to purchase the second tender which will be used to attain the accreditation through the Fire Underwriters Survey (FUS).
The accreditation certifies that the fire department can provide water to a fire scene equal to the water that can be provided through a fire hydrant system. This can only be accomplished with at least two water tenders available to supply water to the scene of a fire.
In order to attain the accreditation, the fire department must show that firefighters can deliver 200 imperial gallons per minute, within five minutes, for a period of two hours, within an area up to five kilometres from a water source and eight kilometres from the firehall, says CSRD Regional Fire Chief Sean Coubrough.
“Once superior tanker shuttle accreditation is achieved in a fire service area, the residents will qualify for reduced insurance rates in addition to being better served by the fire department,” he adds. “This will be a huge benefit to Nicholson area residents.
The purchase of the new tender was budgeted for 2021 but was deferred due to market volatility and supply chain interruptions during COVID and capacity challenges in the procurement section.
A competitive process was completed to source the tender with only one bid being received from Fort Gary Fire Trucks, in the amount of $493,789 plus tax.
A total of $375,000 is budgeted in the Nicholson Fire Service’s 2023 five-year financial plan. But the current base price of the apparatus is $479,000 and staff have recommended the winter package and on-spot chains be included with the purchase to adequately address conditions faced within the Nicholson Fire Service Area.
The required budget amendment is $160,000, with $100,000 coming from provincial deployment reserves and the remaining $60,000 from the Nicholson Fire Department capital reserve.
A formal amendment to the 2023 Five Year Financial Plan to include the additional cost funded out of deployment and capital reserves will be brought to the board at a later date.