It has taken more than 20 years for taxpayers in the area to save up for it, but the Salmon Valley Fire Department has a brand new tender.
The $300,000 tanker will serve the surrounding area and provide Mutual Aide to other fire halls in need. It may look like just a small red fire truck, but Deputy Chief for Salmon Valley, Cory Davoren, says the impact is huge. “It increases our water demand by 1500 gallons which is huge for initial attack because when we call up Mutual Aide from Pilot Mountain or Ness Lake, they’re at least a half hour to 45 minutes out.”
The tender assists in structure fires and forestry calls. A new addition includes a front monitor to spray water on harder to reach fires. Davoren says it’s very efficient at putting out grass fires. “We’ve never had a monitor on any of our trucks so that will help us quickly knock down a car fire, we can pull up to a fire knock it down with the monitor and help us put out forestry calls.”
The 13 volunteer fire departments in the Fraser Fort-George Regional District can each receive up to 60 calls a year, but a lack of volunteers can affect response times. An open house next Tuesday at the Salmon Valley Fire Department will seek to encourage others to volunteer.
Director of Salmon River-Lakes for the Regional District, Warren Wilson, says even just a small team of volunteer firefighters can affect the average homeowner. “The significance to the homeowners is to have these highly trained volunteers available to help out in any emergency circumstance,” he said.
In addition, Wilson mentions fire insurance can go up depending on the distance one’s house is from a fire hall. “It’s still a savings, it does cost people more on their taxes, but their insurance is significantly less so it’s still advantageous to be covered by the volunteer fire department.”
Salmon Valley’s new tender truck will be used as the first truck out for forestry calls. The hall’s old tender will now be used as a second truck as well as a Mutual Aide tender to help other fellow fire departments within the Regional District of Fraser Fort-George.