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HomeNewsNew foam, firetruck on its way for Huntsville/Lake of Bays Fire Department

New foam, firetruck on its way for Huntsville/Lake of Bays Fire Department

On Feb. 14, Lake of Bays council gave the okay for the Huntsville/Lake of Bays Fire Department to switch to a new firefighting foam as well as purchase a new tanker/pumper truck. 

However, the new truck will cost $117,000 more than what was initially budgeted for the fire department’s 10-year truck replacement plan. “Due to a significant cost increase in manufacturing, high demand, and an industry shortage, there is a significant increase in the 2023 bids from the 2021 tender for a similar tanker in Huntsville,” writes Fire Chief Gary Monahan in his report to council.

The new truck will cost $646,934. Council agreed to purchase it from Safetek Emergency Vehicles Ltd. 

It was not said in Monahan’s report where the truck will be housed once it’s purchased. However, he did tell council he expects the build to take 18 to 24 months.

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Also during the meeting, the fire department was given the go-ahead to switch to a fluorine-free foam concentrate. Currently, firefighters use alcohol-resistant aqueous film-forming foam (AR-AFFF) firefighting foam. Monahan writes it contained polyfluorinated substances, which makes it not biodegradable. He points out that some municipal environmental policies don’t allow for fire departments to use the foam.

Monahan says township staff determined the fluorine-free foam is the best environmentally-friendly option. He added that the only difference between the new and old foam is the new stuff is more environmentally friendly. 

He told council the old foam will be disposed of. He pointed out that the Gravenhurst Fire Department has already gone through a similar process, so Monahan said they will be following their lead. 

In the yet-to-be-approved 2023 Lake of Bays budget, $20,000 has been set aside for the change.

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