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City of Cold Lake commits to new pumper and radio system

City investing $710,000 into new pumper and $230,000 into new radio system
Cold Lake SAILS

COLD LAKE - The City of Cold Lake is moving forward with purchasing a new triple-combination pumper, along with communications equipment that will allow the service to use the Alberta First Responders Radio Communication System (AFRRCS).

The contracts are part of the city's 2020 capital budget.

“We are extremely proud of our Fire-Rescue service and what its members achieve, and council is happy to support them through a well-planned capital investment strategy that has made these equipment purchases possible,” said Mayor Craig Copeland.

“Between Cold Lake Fire-Rescue’s training, equipment and maintenance, along with the city’s supporting infrastructure including fire hydrants and water flow, Fire-Rescue has long achieved and maintained the highest insurance rating available to paid-on-call services. That’s a credit to their hard work and the community’s support for the excellent service they provide.”

The new pumper will replace a 2005 pumper truck that is coming to the end of its service life.

The COVID-19 pandemic, as well as ongoing job-related cancer research, has prompted the department to secure its first 'Clean Cab' system. A 'Clean Cab' system uses high-grade HEPA filters to scrub volatile compounds and an active purification system that kills pathogens, including viruses, according to information from the City of Cold Lake.

Delivery of the unit is expected in January of 2022, with the current Pumper 4 unit remaining in service until that time.

The contract was awarded to Fort Garry Fire Trucks with a project cost estimated at $710,000. The apparatus will be housed at the downtown fire station once it arrives.

“Cold Lake Fire-Rescue has always had a highly motivated, well-trained group of firefighters with just over 60 per cent having served the community for more than 10 years,” said Jeff Fallow, Fire Chief and Manager of Protective Services.

“The mayor and council plan for the future to ensure our firefighters are well-equipped and Cold Lake’s paid-on-call fire service delivery model is sustainable into the future. We are very thankful to continue receiving the support and the resources, equipment and infrastructure required to keep our fire service moving forward," said the fire chief.

Radio system   

The AFRRCS is a two-way radio system used by first responders in municipal, provincial and First Nations agencies across Alberta.

The system was first launched in 2016, with the City of Cold Lake opting to wait before adopting it, according to the City of Cold Lake. The project cost for the radio system is roughly $230,000 and will provide Cold Lake Fire-Rescue with the infrastructure, hand-held radio units and pagers needed for the entire fire service, as well as the city’s Community Peace Officers (CPOs).

The AFRRCS will allow both Cold Lake Fire-Rescue and CPOs to communicate seamlessly with other first responders during emergencies. The project was awarded to WCI – White Communications Inc. The transition to the new system will take place throughout 2021.

“Our council has shown consistent commitment to the men and women of Cold Lake Fire-Rescue, just as they have shown consistent dedication to our community and our neighbours,” said Copeland. 

With a staff of four full-time personnel and about 60 paid-on-call firefighters, Cold Lake Fire-Rescue serves the City of Cold Lake, a large portion of the Municipal District of Bonnyville, and Cold Lake First Nations, with occasional responses into Saskatchewan.