The Cumberland Fire Hall recently underwent $70,000 worth of renovations so the new fire truck can fit inside. The new pumper engine is expected to arrive no later than November 2019. Photo by Jolene Rudisuela

The Cumberland Fire Hall recently underwent $70,000 worth of renovations so the new fire truck can fit inside. The new pumper engine is expected to arrive no later than November 2019. Photo by Jolene Rudisuela

New Cumberland fire engine long overdue, says fire chief

The prospect of a new fire hall delayed the order as existing engine bays were too small

Cumberland’s new fire engine will be here within a year, but fire chief Mike Williamson says it’s too long overdue.

At Monday’s council meeting, Cumberland council awarded the contract for the construction, purchase and delivery of the new pumper engine to Fort Gary Fire Trucks in Winnipeg. Williamson says this could have and should have been done a lot sooner, but they were holding off due to the prospect of a new fire hall.

“The reason we didn’t order a new fire truck earlier, we had it in the budget to order several years ago, but we kept waiting for a new fire hall,” he said. “The new fire truck would not fit in this fire hall, but we couldn’t wait any longer for a new fire hall and we had to order a new engine.”

The engine bays at the current fire hall were not big enough, requiring a $70,000 renovation on the front of the building just so the new truck could fit inside. The renovations took two weeks and were completed in November.

“We only have a few inches at the front of the fire truck, like two or three inches to close the door and we’ve only got about four inches of the door height to go in,” said Williamson. “These new fire engines are quite a bit bigger.”

The new engine is expected to arrive no later than November 2019 and will replace the current first line engine which is nearly 25-years-old. According to Williamson, the fire underwriters require first line engines to be no older than 15 years, but they allowed for an extension due to its good mechanical condition and the Village’s circumstances.

Williamson says the fire underwriter’s report determines the Village’s insurance rating. Currently, each municipality in the Valley has a 3A rating and he says Cumberland needs the new truck and a new fire hall to maintain that.

“The fire engine definitely will increase our percentage of that 3A rating,” he said. “One of the things we didn’t score so high in is our engine equipment because it’s old. The fire hall was also mentioned in the audit that the fire bays were not adequate for our equipment.”

The total cost of the pumper engine is $501,869, which is within the approved budget of $537,000. The bigger truck will allow crews to go out onto the highways to do extrications and is specially designed to handle firefighting and rescue tools.

“It’s much safer for our guys with a big engine like that rather than a small rescue truck. We’ve been looking forward to this truck for several years and planning it and it’s just a relief off our minds that it’s going to actually come.”

Williamson says their second engine will also need to be replaced in five years. In the meantime, he is working to bring the new fire hall to life.

RELATED: Additional funds allocated to over-budget Cumberland fire hall design

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rogan is a three-year-old border collie who has an 'incredible bond' between him and a family member. Photo by Erin Haluschak
‘Incredible bond’ credited for dog who assisted in emergency

Three-year-old dog Rogan came to the rescue of a family member who fell

A map of Comox Valley schools. Screenshot, Fraser Institute
Comox Valley schools near mid-pack in Fraser Institute rankings

A few schools went up or down a few points, but most came in with similar marks

Last year, the Sharing the Christmas Spirit Hamper Program operated at the old St. Joseph’s Hospital site. File photo
Christmas hamper program finds space in Courtenay

An annual Christmas hamper program in the Comox Valley has found a… Continue reading

During a public hearing in November, a Comox resident proposed the idea of a roundabout at the intersection of Lerwick and McDonald Roads. Google Maps photo
Comox development get the green light

The development - at 2309 McDonald Rd. - received third reading at the most recent council meeting

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

The Blackberry Lane Children’s Centre outgrown its space in the back of the Denman Island Community Hall. Photo supplied
Denman Island to have new preschool with metal roof

Thanks to a local government grant and community support, the Denman Island… Continue reading

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Most Read