By Robert Lynch, Fire Chief (Ret.)
September 22, 2023 Edition
The Harbour Grace Volunteer Fire Brigade has received funding for a high angle rescue vehicle and a grant to replace aging equipment.
The funding came in the form of two presentations last week.
On Tuesday, Mayor Don Coombs, council, and members of the brigade were joined by Premier Andrew Furey, Harbour Grace – Port de Grave MHA Pam Parsons, and Fire Commissioner Robert Fowler at the brigade’s Social Building for an announcement of $150,000 to help with the purchase of a new response unit housing all of the high angle rescue team’s equipment. Presently, the equipment is stored in the Fire Hall and has to be exchanged with other response equipment before answering calls for assistance. The funding is based on a cost-sharing agreement between the Provincial Government and the Town of Harbour Grace. The Brigade’s high angle rescue team is the only one in the area and will provide coverage from Holyrood to Bay de Verde.
On Wednesday, council and brigade members were joined by Victoria Battcock, Manager of Digital Marketing and Communications for Trades NL. Battcock presented a cheque for $7,000 to firefighter Bobby Lynch. The funds were attained by the brigade from an application submitted to Trades NL by Lynch in conjunction with former Fire Chief Jim Barnes. The funding is part of the Trades NL Community Giving Program which organizations applied for in the spring of 2023. The Brigade applied for the Health and Wellness Impact Grant, which is awarded to projects that will have an immediate impact on the health and well-being of communities by enhancing programming, equipment, or facilities.
Trades NL represents 14 building trades unions in Newfoundland and Labrador. There are five building trades union members on the brigade at present, and Battcock said that without the workers, the Community Giving Program would not exist.
“Volunteer firefighters are heroes in our communities, and we are proud to support Harbour Grace and the entire region with this donation,” Battcock said. “Bobby and Jim truly went above and beyond to ensure that we understood the importance of the high angle rescue equipment. The community should be proud of them and the entire Brigade for their dedication.”