© Guardian photo by Steve Sharratt
Souris firemfighters delight with the arrival of a new $250,000 rescue truck delivered to the community Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013. Savouring the moment, from left, are fire chief Colin LaVie, town Coun. Kenny Peters, Mayor David MacDonald and deputy chiefs Brian Jennings and Sterling MacDonald.
SOURIS — There won’t be a shortage of drivers when a rescue call comes in here this year.
Especially with a brand new rescue truck at the Souris fire hall with all the beeps and whistles.
“This is some rig,’’ offered Kenny Peters, the town councillor in charge of the fire department here Wednesday night.
The whole force turned out, along with interested citizens, to mark the arrival of the new custom-made rescue truck built on a Freightliner chassis and delivered from New Brunswick.
The new rig pulled into town just before 6 p.m. and the lights were flashing and the sirens wailing to mark the celebration.
“It’s a beauty,’’ enthused fire chief and local MLA Colin LaVie as firefighters pored over the rig like it was a new toy.
It took three years of fundraising and budgeting by the town and the communities served by the Souris fire district to make it all happen and bring the $250,000 vehicle to a new home.
The Souris department responds to about 100 emergencies a year with fewer and fewer fires and more and more first-responder calls.
“We did a lot of sharp pencil work to get this here,’’ said Mayor David MacDonald. “But it is something the community needs badly.”
Lavie said the old rescue truck was a converted van that worked, but had some quirks. The new shiny red rig will carry seven firefighters and is equipped with all the modern firefighting needs including a $45,000 Jaws of Life.
“We don’t want to see an increase in rescue calls, but there certainly will be an increase in the number of rescue drivers,’’ joked LaVie.