A new $715,000 fire engine was added to the RDKB fire rescue fleet in October 2017. ICBC is accessing whether the vehicle is safe for service following the May 23 acid spill. (Guy Bertrand photo)

A new $715,000 fire engine was added to the RDKB fire rescue fleet in October 2017. ICBC is accessing whether the vehicle is safe for service following the May 23 acid spill. (Guy Bertrand photo)

First responder vehicles scrapped after acid spills in Trail

The City of Trail is using GPS to check its fleet; no infrastructure concerns have arisen

Hundreds of private claims have been submitted to ICBC following the acid spills in Trail.

But what about the often customized and very pricey first responder vehicles?

So far one police car from the Greater Trail detachment has been scrapped as well as the fire chief’s command vehicle at Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue.

Still unknown is whether the $715,000 fire engine, which has only been in service one year, will have to be written off.

“Our command vehicle has been written off and a replacement is on order,” Fire Chief Dan Derby confirmed. “I’m still waiting for ICBC to determine the status of our fire engine.”

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First and foremost the department is asking the insurer to determine if the truck is safe to be in service.

“We have asked … ‘will the effects of the acid spill effect the reliability of the apparatus in (years to come),’” Derby said. “And (if) the effects of the acid spill reduce the life span of the apparatus.”

The regional district purchases fire apparatus with the expectation of a 20-year life span, he explained.

“We are working with ICBC to ensure the acid spill does not have negative effects on the service we provide to the communities we protect.”

As far as the patrol car, RCMP Sgt. Mike Wicentowich said the vehicle was involved in the April 10 incident.

“The police car has been decommissioned and temporarily replaced until we receive a new one,” he confirmed.

Fortunately, the public transit fleet hasn’t been affected.

“We haven’t seen any damages as of yet,” said Trevor Stach, general manager for Trail Transit Services. “We’ll continue looking and any possible impact will be dealt with.”

The City of Trail has used modern technology to figure out if its fleet drove through either spill.

“We have viewed the city’s GPS records, have identified vehicles that would have driven though the area, and therefore could have come in contact with the spill,” explained Chief Administrative Officer David Perehudoff. “We will be having those vehicles further inspected and set up a claim with ICBC if required.”

In addition, the city is still trying to determine what municipal infrastructure may have come in contact with the acid.

“We have not yet identified any significant concerns at this time,” Perehudoff said.