A donation by TC Energy has allowed the Bracebridge Fire Department to buy a TULMAR inflatable shelter system.
Fire Chief Murray Medley explains the system inflates with two self-contained breathing apparatus cylinders in under five minutes. He says the 12 by 15 foot structure provides firefighters and their equipment protection from the weather. He says, depending on the weather, fans that spray a cooling mist or portable heaters can be placed in the tent.
Medley says it will be used at the scene of fires that are expected to take a while to battle.
“The Bracebridge Fire team is committed to community safety,” Medley says. “Having this inflatable firefighter shelter available for use at our more demanding situations will provide our team with relief, giving us the ability to be more active and responsive on scene.”
Jacqueline Fulton, Bracebridge’s Communications Coordinator, says TC Energy donated $10,000 to help cover the cost of the tent, which cost $14,464.80. The rest, she says, will be covered by the fire department.
Medley points to the 2019 Muskoka Timber Mills fire as an example of when the shelter system would be used. He explains they were on scene for close to 24 hours. “Over that 24 hours you have to take people out and then them back, rehab them, so you give them time to take a break,” he says.
“Safety is more than a core value at TC Energy; it’s a fundamental belief embedded at the heart of our culture,” says Gretchen Gordon, Senior Lead Liaison of Stakeholder Relations for TC Energy “We’re honoured to support Bracebridge Fire by helping them access the tools and equipment that they need to ensure their safety and well-being as they work hard to keep our communities safe, every day.”
The money comes from TC Energy’s “Build Strong” community giving program. In 2021, more than $21.6 million was invested in over 2,000 initiatives and scholarship recipients in more than 1,000 communities across North America through the fund.