Over the past several months covering Sault Fire calls for service, I realized I had never seen one particular piece of equipment deployed. I decided to dig a little deeper into whether the the Sault had a Rescue Truck and if so, was it still in service?
After some quick research, I learned we do have one, it just hasn’t been out to any call I’ve covered. In the process, I also learned that the City also has plans to replace it.
A Rescue Truck is an integral part of my hometown volunteer department, dispatched to almost every call. I was curious why I hadn’t seen it and why we needed to replace a piece of equipment that appears to be hardly used.
Through experience, I know much of the technical equipment normally carried on the Rescue Truck in my home town is carried by other vehicles here in the Sault (braces, hydraulic cutters, etc.).
When I contacted Sault Fire Services with my inquiries, I was directed to Tessa Vecchio, Communications Manager for the city. In an e-mailed statement, Vecchio advised the City is required to replace it.
“The current Rescue Truck is from 1998, well past its life expectancy. Should anything malfunction on the current truck, parts are difficult to find,” said Vecchio. “As well as the Fire Master Plan, Sault Ste. Marie Fire Service uses the following guides to inform our recommendations for replacement of our front-line apparatus replacement- NFPA 1901 Standard for Firefighting Apparatus, Underwriters Laboratory Canada (ULC) and Fire Underwriters Survey.”
She also stated something I am familiar with as a chase reporter, but most of our readers most likely do not.
“The importance of this truck cannot be understated. The Rescue Truck is a matter of public safety and sustaining current complement of service ready major apparatus at all times. Should a major event take place, the Rescue Truck offers another level of safety as an invaluable piece of equipment.”
Upon requesting a copy of the Fire Underwriters Survey, we were informed an FOI would be required as it is provided by an outside company. The Fire Master Plan does show multiple changes to the department going forward, in addition to the Rescue Truck requiring replacement.
Stay with SaultOnline as we dig deeper into the departments which make up core city services.