As part of the Road Rescue Financial Analysis Project, a year-long project that will allow Golden Fire Rescue to take on the responsibility of road rescue operations outside of the municipal boundary, the department has just received nearly $100,000 worth of new equipment.
The tools include an electric battery operated hydraulic pump, cutters, spreaders, hoses, stabilizers, an air chisel, lifting bags, and road rescue helmets (much lighter and more breathable than fire fighting helmets) to name a few.
“All said and done, we’re looking at just over $97,000,” said Golden Fire Chief Ken McClure.
“We have more tools in our toolbox, so for different events we’re faced with, we have different and more appropriate tools to combat them. If we only have one cutter and one spreader, we can only do so much.”
The Road Rescue Financial Analysis Project agreement, reached in 2012, allows the department to take on the road rescue responsibility that the Golden and District Search and Rescue used to do, at no cost to the Town of Golden.
The province is picking up the tab, and Golden will provide them with crucial data that will assist in future road rescue efforts around British Columbia.
“We did a package deal with the province on a short term contract. It costs nothing to the tax payers of Golden, and we got $100,000 worth of rescue equipment for free through lottery and gaming grants,” said Coun. Mike Pecora.
“So even if we pull out of this program through the province, we get to keep the equipment. So it doesn’t matter how it turns out, it’s a win win for the community, and for the fire department.”
At the fire department’s regular practice on March 19, the firefighters got to test out the new equipment, and tore through a car in a matter of minutes.
“We do things as quickly as we can, as safely as we can, and this will help us do it,” said McClure. “It’s really amazing how much more efficient this technology is. It has come a long way.”
“We’ve got a dedicated group of volunteers who have been working their butts off, especially since we’ve given them the OK to go do this. It’s almost overwhelming,” said Pecora.