A new fire truck for the Huntsville/Lake of Bays Fire Department will be delivered to its Port Cunnington station in November.
The new truck will replace P291, which is 25-year-old and, according to Deputy Fire Chief Paul Calleja, no longer fit for active service with the department.
He explains the new pumper is a big upgrade from the old truck. Not only is it brand new, giving them a “good lifespan” it can fit five firefighters, which is two more than the old truck could.
In May 2021, Lake of Bays council approved purchasing the truck for 393,287.
According to Calleja, the department cycles through trucks once every 20 or so years. Sometimes, like in this case, that rule isn’t strictly followed with Calleja noting that 25 years is as long as they the department would wait to replace a truck.
The Port Cunnington station is located at 1230 Fox Point Rd. in Dwight. Calleja says it would be a big deal if the department’s main station in Huntsville got a new truck, so it’s an even bigger deal when one of their smaller stations gets one. “When a community like in the Port Cunnington area gets a brand new fire apparatus, it raises the level of service,” he says.
As for the old truck, it isn’t being scrapped just yet. “We can’t just throw a for sale sign on it and put it at the end of the parking lot,” Calleja says. The plan is to move it to the department’s training facility in Port Sydney where it will be used to help train new recruits. He explains this is often what the department does with its old trucks.
Eventually, though, Calleja says the truck will have to be scrapped.