Firefighters forced to modify tradition due to COVID-19 pandemic

Firefighters Michael Poole (from left), Captain Bryan Erwin, Bryan McNeil and Josh Pettigrew get acquainted with Colwood Fire Rescue’s new engine. See story on page A5. (Katherine Engqvist/News Staff)Firefighters Michael Poole (from left), Captain Bryan Erwin, Bryan McNeil and Josh Pettigrew get acquainted with Colwood Fire Rescue’s new engine. See story on page A5. (Katherine Engqvist/News Staff)
Firefighters Bryan McNeil (from right), Michael Poole, Josh Pettigrew and Captain Bryan Erwin get acquainted with Colwood Fire Rescue’s new engine. (Katherine Engqvist/News Staff)Firefighters Bryan McNeil (from right), Michael Poole, Josh Pettigrew and Captain Bryan Erwin get acquainted with Colwood Fire Rescue’s new engine. (Katherine Engqvist/News Staff)
Captain Bryan Erwin (from left) along with firefighters Josh Pettigrew, Michael Poole and Bryan McNeil get acquainted with Colwood Fire Rescue’s new engine. (Katherine Engqvist/News Staff)Captain Bryan Erwin (from left) along with firefighters Josh Pettigrew, Michael Poole and Bryan McNeil get acquainted with Colwood Fire Rescue’s new engine. (Katherine Engqvist/News Staff)

A silver lining for Colwood firefighters working around the clock during the COVID-19 pandemic has arrived.

Colwood Fire Rescue received a new fire truck last week but it couldn’t be met with the usual fanfare. Traditionally, when a new truck arrives at the hall, all the firefighters in the department gather and push the apparatus into the hall. But with COVID-19 restriction, that wasn’t possible when the truck arrived on May 13.

Instead, the department had to modify its tradition and members greeted the new truck in shifts while observing physical distancing. But that didn’t diminish the excitement.

“This project was 15 months in the making,” explained Assistant Fire Chief Greg Chow, noting Colwood council approved the purchase in early 2019. “It’s a long-awaited replacement, in the past few years we’ve seen some breakdowns in the truck it’s replacing.”

ALSO READ: Colwood to consider satellite fire hall in Royal Bay

The 2020 Spartan HUB fire engine can pump 1,750 gallons per minute, holds 500 gallons of water, and offers the latest in interior crew protection with a complement of fire rescue tools.

It replaces the old Engine 51, a 1995 Spartan Gladiator. Chow noted pumper trucks have a 20-year lifespan with an additional five-year reserve before their ratings are no longer valid.

This replacement was required so the department can ensure it meets today’s requirements as well as future needs.

The newest addition will also help reduce training hours, noted Chow.

All firefighters in the department are trained on the different trucks – how to use them properly and where equipment is stored. Since the layout, controls and other features of this truck are similar to another in the fleet, it will save training hours that can be utilized elsewhere.

He expects the new engine will be in service within four weeks once some equipment has been mounted and crews have been fully trained.

It joins a fleet that includes Tower 57 (a 2015 Rosenbauer T-Rex 115-foot articulating platform truck), Engine 52 (a 2012 Spartan Metro Star), Rescue 56 (a 2002 Spartan Metro Star), and a 2008 tanker engine.

The purchase came in under budget with a price tag of approximately $980,000 before tax.

ALSO READ: Colwood firefighters set to soar to new heights

katie@goldstreamgazette.com

Colwood Fire Rescue

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

Just Posted

The Vancouver Island Crisis Society has seen a five per cent rise in call volumes compared to this time last year. (Black Press Media file photo)
Winter blues a concern for Vancouver Islanders during COVID-19 Christmas season

Statistics show British Columbians anticipate worsening mental health

Jason Soukochoff is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, say Victoria police. (Courtesy VicPD)
Victoria police seek man with violent criminal history against elderly

Jason Soukochoff wanted on Canada-wide warrant for parole violations

Bystanders attend to a cyclist who is knocked to the pavement of Oak Bay Avenue. Witnesses say the cyclist was knocked off their bike in a dooring incident on Oak Bay Avenue at Fell Street at around 12:40 p.m. on Wednesday. 
(Daniel Opden Dries Photo)
UPDATED: VicPD tickets driver for ‘dooring’ cyclist on Oak Bay Avenue

Incident occurred at Oak Bay Avenue and Fell Street

West Shore RCMP pulled over a 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee on Nov. 23 after noting that it didn’t appear safe for the road. (West Shore RCMP)
West Shore RCMP pull over vehicle held together by tape and cargo strap

RCMP deemed the vehicle unsafe for the road and had it towed away

Salon owner Philip Ferreira with the PPE collection box at The Natural Hair Salon, 618 View St. (Mariah Johal photo)
Victoria salon inspires more mask recycling

Anyone welcome to drop disposable masks in bin outside View Street shop

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 24

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Haven Daley)
POLL: Do you think the current COVID-19 restrictions should continue beyond Dec. 7?

One week into the new restrictions to curtail the spread of the… Continue reading

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

An excavator was stolen from a rural property south of Nanaimo this month, say police. (Photos submitted)
Excavator stolen from property south of Nanaimo

Bobcat Mini believed to have been stolen between Nov. 12-14, say RCMP

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Most Read