Inverness Fire Department celebrates
Awards, dining and dancing were part of the Inverness Fires Department’s annual banquet on Saturday, February 23rd.
The officers of the Inverness Fire Department are, from left: Capt. Neil Smith, treasurer Joe O’Connor, Capt. Clifford Lelievre, Chief Michael MacIsaac, hall and welfare Billy MacIsaac, president and deputy chief Ian Poirier, Capt. John O’Connor, and asst
Fire Chief Mike MacIsaac reported that the department responded to 36 calls in the last year, with the largest operation being the grass fire in Dunvegan.
“At that fire scene, in addition to ourselves, were Mabou, Margaree Forks and Lake Ainslie fire departments, DNR, the DNR helicopter, EHS, local paramedics and the department of highways,” he said. “That shows the importance of mutual aid.”
He said things have changed from the times when fire departments could become territorial.
“Everybody’s all for one and one for all,” he said. “In this county we’ve all got each other’s backs. That mentality has no place in the fire service because we’re here for our communities and we’re here to serve the need.”
He said the Inverness department is still preparing to purchase a new truck, and drawings and specifications have been readied.
“We’ve started putting aside money toward that,” he said, noting that the total cost will likely be in the range of $280,000. “We have approximately 30 percent put aside.”
He said they want to have at least 50 percent of the total purchase price saved before they go ahead.
He said the Inverness department had four new members join last year.
Fire fighter John MacLellan was awarded a medal for his 25 years of service with the department.
Olga Smith was also honoured for her many years of service with the ladies auxiliary. She recently stepped down from her position. She was presented with a watch.
The ladies auxiliary will no longer be presenting an annual cheque to the fire department. Instead, said MacIsaac, the fire department will approach the auxiliary for money when they are planning to purchase something, such as new bunker gear.
Municipal councillor Jim Mustard offered “a sincere thank you to all the volunteer men and women who don’t just dedicate their time to show up when the alarm goes, they dedicate their time throughout to be professionals. I don’t think there’s a better group of people to show what it really takes to be there for the safety and security of the community.”
Member of the Legislative Assembly Allan MacMaster offered his thanks to the volunteer fire fighters, and to the ladies auxiliary for their fund-raising efforts and support. He also urged fire department members to use available government services if they are having difficulty with any claims related to their volunteer work.
Member of Parliament Roger Cuzner was in attendance as well.
“Inverness is at the epicentre of change in Western Cape Breton,” he said. “There’s a collective spring in people’s step. I think optimism is a powerful thing. We’re fortunate in Inverness that there are men and women who are willing to give of themselves for the benefit of their families, their friends, their neighbours and the business community.”
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