Deputation on donation of aerial unit by Beaverton firefighters delayed

A planned deputation to township council on the donation of an aerial unit by Beaverton area firefighters has been postponed temporarily.

Initially planned for Monday’s (March 19) council meeting, the Beaverton-Thorah Firefighters’ Association now intends to make its presentation during the protection to persons and property committee session on March 26 and has submitted that request to the Township.

“The association has been in talks with the municipality and we will be postponing our deputation for a week in order to find a solution. The association is committed to an elevated device and is hoping the talks this week will be positive,” said association spokesman Mike Jubb.

The Brock Voice has learned that representatives from the association met privately with Mayor John Grant, CAO/Clerk Thom Gettinby and Fire Chief Rick Harrison on Wednesday (March 14) afternoon at the Beaverton fire hall.

“Yes, staff met with the firefighters. (The) purpose was to discuss the vehicle under consideration and to provide an overview of the budget process/capital plan adopted. There is no formal recommendation from staff,” Gettinby said in response to an email from the Voice.

Mayor Grant noted Sunday (March 18) that a second meeting would be held in the coming days.

“The deputation been cancelled pending a meeting with the municipality…It’s up to the association to reschedule (the deputation),” he said.

When reached for comment later in the day, Jubb reiterated that the association is committed to following through with the donation.

“There are many options available to obtain an aerial device and we will be discussing these options. Our position remains the same – we believe for the safety of our citizens and members, a device is needed immediately.”

The association announced the intended donation on March 9 and circulated the deputation to media.

“Today is a very proud day for the Beaverton-Thorah Firefighter’s Association. The safety and security of both our firefighters and citizens is paramount to the association and we respectfully understand and value the townships commitment and dedication to the Brock Township Fire Department as a whole. With this in mind, we are extremely proud to present to you a donation of an elevated device,” it reads.

“Obtaining an elevated device or a squirt, as it has become known, has become a priority of our association and a necessity to our municipality due to the rapid and expansive developments of new, large, lightweight construction occurring in our township. Our members have been fundraising for many years at becbecues, community events, parades and dances with the end goal being this valued donation. We have also received numerous donations from businesses within the township, allocated solely for the purchase of an elevated device.”

The vehicle is a 1993 model that was purchased from a dealer at an undisclosed price.

“A quality used vehicle, this 55-foot aerial device has been extremely well maintained and cared for. This truck would be ready and available to respond to all areas of Brock Township, whenever required. It would take the place of the spare pumper at Station 83, Beaverton,” the deputation reads.

“Having this truck will reduce elevated device response times by more than half in all areas of Brock, by not having to rely on neighbouring townships, and at no extra cost. Furthermore, no additional equipment purchases will be required to make this truck operational.”

The document notes that the association will also cover the cost of outfitting the vehicle with local decals.

“Brock Township Fire Department decals (one on each door) cost very little and will be paid for by the association. The paint, stripes and lights are all in fine working order, as can be seen in the photos provided. This truck is a great find; an opportunity like this rarely presents itself,” the deputation reads.

While Township staff have penciled in the purchase of an aerial unit in 2021, the association proceeded in the interest of safety – both of volunteer firefighters and the community as a whole.

“The truck will enter service fully certified and ready to respond, including the ladder; again, with no financial impact on the municipality. As previously mentioned, the association fully understands the commitment council and staff have put forward regarding the 20-year plan. We respect the consultant’s report recommending an elevated device as well as the public’s input to the budget survey that demonstrates public support for an elevated device,” the deputation reads.

“This truck is being donated to fill the gap between now and 2021 when the township is slated to purchase a new elevated device. The association’s position is that we would have no problem with this truck being sold, traded in, or transferred to another station in 2021, when we obtain a new replacement squirt. We understand the township is not in a financial position to purchase an aerial device in 2018.”

The presentation notes that training on the aerial unit could be completed over the course of the weekend.

“In regards to training, we have consulted a neighbouring municipality and it’s estimated that the training of six to eight driver/operators would take approximately 16 hours and could be completed over the span of one weekend,” the deputation reads.

It wraps up with a request that local politicians accept the donation.

“Once again, the members of the Beaverton-Thorah Firefighter’s Association are extremely proud to present this donation to ensure the safety of our entire community. Given the increased interest from Brock Township residents for the need of this device, we respectfully ask that council accept this donation,” it reads.

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