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CVRD buys aerial fire truck from Ladysmith

Truck will service North Oyster area
CVRD purchases a used aerial fire truck from Ladysmith to service the North Oyster area. (Citizen file photo)

The Cowichan Valley Regional District has purchased a used aerial fire truck from the Town of Ladysmith on behalf of the North Oyster volunteer fire department, increasing local firefighting capacity in the north end of the region.

The vehicle, a 1997 E-One/Superior aerial truck equipped with a 75 ft (23 m) ladder, a 400-gallon (1800 L) water tank, and a Hale 1500 gal/min pump, became surplus to the Town of Ladysmith fleet following delivery of a new aerial truck.

“We welcome the addition of this apparatus to our fleet, as a valuable asset that will remain in the Cowichan Valley and can be used by other departments when called upon through the region-wide mutual aid agreement,” said Florian Schulz, North Oyster’s fire chief.

“Our personnel are already very familiar with the truck, having used it many times in the past at fire scenes in the North Oyster fire protection area.”

Ladysmith Fire Rescue has agreed to provide North Oyster crews with the necessary training to operate the apparatus.

The North Oyster fire protection area continues to experience growth with the addition of higher buildings such as the Microtel Hotel and ColdStar Solutions, a large cold storage facility.

“The Ladysmith community benefited greatly from the use of the vehicle over its 25 years of service,” said Chris Geiger, Ladysmith’s fire chief.

“Our members appreciate knowing that the truck will continue to serve in the local area, providing the citizens of North Oyster fire protection area with additional fire suppression capacity.”

Challenges to fire service response include ever-increasing building heights, setbacks from the road, and building spans.

Firefighting and rescue operations involving buildings greater than two storeys typically employ aerial ladders that have water pipes, known as “master streams”, that are pre-plumbed for rapid use.

Industrial occupancies often require elevated master streams for safer firefighting techniques.

“This is like winning the lottery for my community, and I want to thank the CVRD staff and those from the Town of Ladysmith that made this happen,” said Ben Maartman, the CVRD’s director for North Oyster/Diamond.

“We live in an area where helping each other is a way of life, which North Oyster volunteer firefighters do every day and night, with pride and professionalism.”

Robert Barron

About the Author: Robert Barron

Since 2016, I've had had the pleasure of working with our dedicated staff and community in the Cowichan Valley.
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