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REPORTING · 2nd October 2014
Walter McFarlane
Kitimat held its First Annual Fire Truck Pull to raise funds for United Way on Sunday, September 28th at the Public Market. Five teams were competing locally. There would be three winners, one for best dressed, one for fastest time and the most money raised.

“Each team will play tug of war with a 3100 pound fire truck and all the money raised will stay in the north to assist Children, Seniors and specialty groups,” said Mayor Joanne Monaghan who was one of three judges for the event. The other judges were MLA Robin Austin and Councillor Phil Germuth.

Austin predicted it was another opportunity for a rivalry between Kitimat and Terrace in raising money for a good cause. “I know it will grow, year to year,” said Austin.

Participating this year were the Fire Fighters, Acklands Grainger, the RCMP, Kitimat General Hospital and Kitimat LNG. Each team was given two attempts to pull the truck 50’.

Monaghan thanked all the volunteers who were there to make the event successful and complimented the Fire Department and the RCMP as being one of the best in BC.

The Kitimat Fire Department provided the truck, their new command centre which they brought into the Fire Hall three weeks ago. The truck replaces two older vehicles.

“This truck here is a combination truck, it’s a multi-use truck. It has all of our technical rescue gear, so confined space, hazmat and high angle on the back half of the truck. It also gets used as a command centre as well. Inside the back part of the cab and the front part of the body, we have essentially an office space with all the latest and greatest in communication devices and video feeds,” said Fire Chief Trent Bossence.

The Truck is not yet in service. They are waiting for a few more pieces for the radios and the communications system they have. The truck will be deployed to all emergencies from a structure fire or a major event. The communications were donated by LNG Canada and TransCanada Pipelines.

“We have the capabilities of communicating in any remote location with it as well as it works in conjunction with our emergency operations centre. This will be out on the scene at the event which is taking place and we can communicate directly with both visual and audio feeds out of this truck into the OC,” said Bossence.

The money raised will stay in the Northwest to help communities remain strong. “They help people who are struggling to get back on their feet, they help people get healthy and stay healthy, both physically and mentally, and they help kids get the education opportunities they deserve,” said District of Kitimat CAO Ron Poole who was announcing for the event.

Acklands Grainger took home the prize for the most fundraising for Kitimat. Kitimat LNG took home the prize for the best dressed. The Fastest Time went to the Kitimat Fire Department with a time of 11.9 seconds. They were given a trophy with a toy fire truck on it. Poole joked toy would have been more in budget.

The Kitimat Fire Department is reminding everyone that working smoke alarms save lives. Bossence encouraged everyone to have them in their house, test them and change the batteries to ensure they are working.

The total raised was $4,326. It was announced that Kitimat had beaten the total for Terrace the previous day.