This Trail Times photo from October 2017 shows the fire truck, which became part of the fleet at Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Fire Rescue that month. (Guy Bertrand photo)

Acid spills wipe out $789,000 Kootenay Boundary fire truck

Fire department maintains service levels despite loss of main work horse

A new Kootenay Boundary workhorse is on order to replace the main fire engine written off because of the Trail acid spills.

Story here: New work horse at RDKB fire rescue

But it will be another year before the regional fire department will actually have a new fire truck in service even though ICBC recently issued a $789,000 settlement cheque.

Fire Chief Dan Derby says the anticipated delivery date for the replacement truck is October 2019 even though the purchase order was submitted a few months ago.

In the meantime, the department is shuffling vehicles across three stations to ensure there is no impact to service.

“With the decision to purchase a replacement truck, the board also authorized the purchase of a used fire truck to fill the void,” Derby told the Trail Times. “The idea of the used replacement was to provide the interim coverage then become the replacement truck in 2020 for one that is timing out (20 years old) in Genelle,” he added.

“To date I’ve been unable to find a suitable used replacement.”

Derby says regional firefighters are aware of the situation as well as the resulting apparatus shuffle, and service levels are not affected.

The contaminated fire truck, which was brand new in Oct. 2017, was deemed unsafe for use and taken off the road in August.

“We had two vehicles that were affected,” Derby said. “One was my command vehicle, and we’ve had that replaced and in service for a couple months now.”

Besides dealing with the sulphuric acid spills in Trail on April 10 and May 23, the department had a busy year of significant regional events, such as boundary flooding and wildfires.

Derby’s summary of 2018 operations and a work plan for next year were part of regional discussions this week when East End directors reconvened for the first time since the municipal election.



newsroom@trailtimes.ca

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