The Municipality of Killarney-Turtle Mountain has put a downpayment on a new fire truck for their department, this after a number of years of planning and budgeting, and then sourcing out the truck through Canoe buying group through the Association of Manitoba Municipalities (AMM) in order to land the best purchasing price.

Head of Council, Mayor Janice Smith, says they currently have two fire trucks and what is presently their lead fire truck will be deemed their 'second' truck when the new unit arrives.

Their current 'second' truck will be repurposed as their water truck which is the iconic green 1969 water tanker that they've been using since the 70's.

"It has served its purpose, and it is ready to retire," she says of the '69 that holds near and dear to the hearts of department members.  "It had been refurbished and refitted by John and Mike Bellew for it to be able to do its job for the past 30 years. It will find a home somewhere, maybe at the corner of the fire hall, that's still under discussion."

Mayor Smith says they had a difficult time finding a replacement for the '69 water truck and so re-fitting their current 'second' truck to become their new water truck just made sense.

"We've been trying to buy a water truck for the past few years, but a lot of these places that have water trucks for sale, sight-unseen it's very hard to purchase something that is well over $100,000 and they don't even have a picture of it.  So, we've been really nervous about pulling the pin on something used.  At least we know this vehicle (their current second truck) has been taken care of, and to our specifications."

As the new pumper truck will be rolling into Killarney in 2025, all trucks will remain status quo until then.  "Believe it or not, that is the waiting time for a new fire truck," she adds.

Coming in at a cost of just under $800,000 Council members know this is an investment for the future of Killarney-Turtle Mountain.

Smith says the price tag feels high because they don't have a truck to trade in to help offset the cost. Coming in at just under $800,000 Council members know this is an investment for the future safety of Killarney-Turtle Mountain residents and property.

It's also important to note Killarney's department must have equipment at a standard that meets their needs as an 'offensive' fire department, which involves taking direct action to mitigate the problem to actually 'fight' the fire. 

The Killarney-Turtle Mountain fire members are also trained to fight any fire 'offensively', which means they may undertake exterior or interior fire attack in conjunction with other fire ground operations, including search and rescue and victim removal, interior structure fire, additional ladder operations and equipment operations, emergency escape, intervention and safety procedures.

The task of a 'defensive' fire department is to isolate or stabilize an incident to ensure it does not get any worse, and thus they are allowed to have older equipment.  A smaller town often has a defensive fire department to contain a fire while waiting for the larger neighboring fire department to respond.

"Because we are an offensive fire department, we have to have a certain standard of trucks so that all of our residents have better fire insurance with their home insurance," explains Mayor Smith.

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