By Andrea Arnold

Both of the Robson Valley Volunteer Fire Departments, McBride and Valemount, will be receiving $30,000 in grant funding to kick off the year.   

The Regional District of Fraser Fort George’s application for the money through the UBCM Grant Funding for Volunteer and Composite Fire Departments was successful again this year. This year they applied for $390,000, $30,000 for each of the volunteer fire departments within the district to fund identified needs for fire department equipment and turn out gear.  

McBride District Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief Courtney Lipke says they will be using the money to purchase some new firefighter protection turnout gear, a positive pressure venting fan and Halligan bars (a multipurpose tool for prying, twisting, punching, or striking. It consists of a claw, a blade, and a tapered pick, which is especially useful in quickly breaching many types of locked doors.)

“This grant allows us to provide training above and beyond what we are usually able to provide our crew.  It also provides us with the opportunity to purchase some equipment that will allow us to serve the community better.”

Chief Rick Lalonde of the Valemount department says they are in need of turnout gear and a positive pressure electric/battery venting fan as well. In addition, he is hoping to purchase a thermal imaging camera, some 2.5” nozzles, and a 50′ length of 1.75” fire hose.

“We are super grateful for the opportunity to acquire this grant and replace some ageing equipment,” said Chief Lalonde. “As always, there are many items that aren’t normally available through our annual budgeting process. Which creates deferrals, and sometimes no ability to purchase at all.”