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REPORTING · 17th February 2015
Walter McFarlane
The Kitimat Fire Department was busy during the blizzard which thumped Kitimat last week. While it created a concern for street access, they were able to respond to 3 fire calls, two motor vehicle accidents , 9 rescues and 14 medical calls thanks to a plan which the fire department put into place.

However, what was not accounted for was the loss of the Emergency Backup Generator at the Fire Hall. It took 6 hours for a rental generator to be put in place.

“This [black out] caused us to lose all communications, lights and heat,” said Fire Chief Trent Bossence in communication following the blizzard.

On Monday, February 16th, a request for a new back-up generator was put before Council for pre-budget approval. In a memo to Council, Bossence explains the cost to replace the generator could be as high as $120,000. This is for a larger capacity generator.

He stated the generator at the Fire Hall was needed for three days of operations during the storm. Even with the replacement generator, there were several areas in the Hall which were without power. These areas included the heating system, the Bay Floor Lighting, the Chief Officers Offices, the Emergency Operations Centre Bathroom and Office, The Fire Hall Basement, Kitchen and Bathroom.

Bossence explained the situation to Council at the meeting. He explained they identified some serious gaps in the fire hall which need the power.

Acting Mayor Mario Feldhoff wanted to know what the cost of the unit which the Fire Hall was renting was. Bossence explained they do not have this information. At the moment, they are trying to determine a timeline, as the longer they rent it, the lower the rate will be. Once approval has been given for a new back-up generator, they can go back and tell the company how long the Fire Department will need the rental and they will be able to get the price.

Feldhoff expressed once they know what the cost is, they will know if they can fund this. Bossence reminded him the generator is not sufficient enough to supply the power they are going to need for back-up power.

Feldhoff asked how long a new generator would last. He was told it would last 20 years. If they replace the building, the generator they want would be sufficient enough to transfer to a new building.

Councillor Claire Rattee made a motion to give the generator pre-budget approval. Councillor Larry Walker however expressed he was not in favour of the motion, as several other generators in the community, the one at the hospital and the one at the Public Works also needed replacement.

“There must be some advantage to volume buying , especially if they run in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Maybe putting all this together at some point in the future, we could get a better deal and be somewhat cost efficient ,” said Walker. “I agree with the Deputy Mayor that it’s not an urgent issue and there’s information lacking to make an intelligent decision,” said Walker.

Councillor Rob Goffinet asked when the Generator was slated to be replaced. He was told it was supposed to be replaced three years ago but needed to be put off for higher priority items.

Rattee stated the Kitimat Fire Department is an important resource for the community of Kitimat and she does not want to see the community caught off guard by another snowstorm and be ‘screwed over’ because the Fire Department does not have power.

Feldhoff expressed the rental generator would meet the needs of the community. He wanted to look at this carefully. However, because he did not have all the information on the rental generator, he felt they were rushing into a decision.

“It’s very possible that a rental could be affordable and give us a larger unit then we have right now and that would give us enough money to do Quatsino Sidewalk and the other sidewalks which were represented to night,” said Feldhoff.

The motion was called and Negated, 3/3. Councillors Feldhoff, Walker and Empinado were opposed.

In our communication with Bossence last week, we asked if there was anyone he would like to thank following the Blizzard. His response is printed below.

I would like to thank the citizens of Kitimat for their patients and understanding while crews worked endlessly on clearing the roads and maintaining services.

A huge thank you to the Kitimat Search and Rescue and Kitimat Snowmobile and Hiking Clubs for their time and commitment. These two clubs proved invaluable in assisting emergency crews. Without their assistance, it would have made accessing homes and streets very difficult and time consuming.

Also, thank you to local contractors and industry who assisted in the snow clearing efforts in both emergency and non-emergency events.

And lastly, thank you to the District employees for their snow clearing efforts. Some very long hours where put in by these men and women to ensure streets and roadways were either maintained or opened.
fire hall in the dark
Comment by j.s. on 24th February 2015
on another note golf course recieves another 100 plus thousand dollars... coming up...
Good idea
Comment by The man in office on 23rd February 2015
Aaron just got word your team has been told to dismantle sorry to here that someone with that much know how and that good at solving problems was told to shut it down and land the plane of knowledge.
money saved
Comment by Will knight on 21st February 2015
Aaron with thinking like this you sound like your from a top pilot team!Well done lets get this fixed and save the town some money and intern keep all evolved happy.
grown up children
Comment by kitimat first on 19th February 2015
resorting to name calling makes you look childish and foolish...I think you owe mr feldhoff an apology, cause the only idiot I see is you Rory Brown ! and you wonder why some people use a pseudonym !
Electrician Needed
Comment by Aaron von Schleinitz on 19th February 2015
It's my understanding that the motor still runs, it's the electrical generator that is broken. Maybe if we had an electrician take a look at it we could get it working again. Rory are you busy this weekend?
generator
Comment by J.Cruijff on 18th February 2015
whole heartily agree with Dr. Soos.
Mr. Brown with all his knowledge would be a danger to the taxpayer of the District.
There should be a record of preventative maintenance on this equipment if not then management better come up with a reason why there is not.
There seems to be a maintenance paradigm of running everything to failure. This is a massive cost to the taxpayer and will have to be rectified by hiring a maintenance manager that knows his business. Maybe he can double up as the temporary replacement of Mr. Pool, who is far far too "busy" with the running of the District.
As for Mr. Brown GET A SPELLCHECK.
Generator
Comment by Leon Dumstrey-Soos on 18th February 2015
Stand by power generators are used only in time of power failure.

Their age is rated by the hours of operation. So that should be checked first, including the service record, particularly for diesel operated engines. If it has been neglected failure is obvious

Total refit may give this unit another 50 years, where it will be used perhaps 100 hours.Why is
everyone so quick to buy new ? Does anyone cares
whose money it is?

Important?
Comment by Rory Brown on 18th February 2015
Once again Feldoff shows everyone how much of an idiot he is. This is a high priority item. If a house caatches fire next time there is a power outage and the firehall cant respond becouse of it, I hope that person sues the city. This is also the same place our ambulance works out of. If it was one of the 3 couselors homes that cought fire during the storm, they would have voted differently.