Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Mersey Seafoods Ltd. and the J&W Murphy Foundation have contributed $50,000 to the Liverpool Firefighters Association to pay off a recent loan the department arranged to purchase a used ladder truck.
"It's our privilege to help the Liverpool Volunteer Firefighters meet such a pressing community need," Greg Simpson, the president of Mersey Seafoods, commented in an email.
"We are so excited and very grateful," said Captain John Long of the Liverpool Fire Department.
A $40,000 loan (plus GST) was given to the Firefighters Association from the Region of Queens Municipality to purchase a truck, a 1992 Spartan, from Hartland, New Brunswick. The truck was picked up January 23 from the ferry in Digby.
The vehicle is replacing the department's 1998 truck which, although newer, has been rendered unusable because the 23-metre (75-foot) ladder is not working. Cost of repair was estimated to be around $100,000. The truck will be sold with the money going back to the department's fundraising efforts.
The Liverpool Fire Department ladder truck is the only one in Queens County. It's used mainly for chimney fires and some structure fires. The old truck has been employed in several mutual aide calls as well in Greenfield, North Queens and Port Medway.
"It allows us to do so much. We can put the boom up high and spray water and it gives us access, for example, to a chimney fire, so we don't necessarily have to put a ladder up against the building and worry about it slipping," said Long. "The ladder truck has come in very handy and has proven its worth."
The loan from RQM was taken out of the municipality's Special Operating Reserve and the fire department committed to paying back the money in three payments beginning June 30, 2022.
RQM's five fire departments are set up on a rotation basis whereby a different department receives money toward a new vehicle each year. The municipality contributes $275,000 annually to the arrangement.
The Liverpool Firefighters Association had started a fundraising campaign and more than $2,000 was raised within a few days.
Any extra money left over from the donation and money raised so far in the campaign will go towards the purchase of a new boat to replace the department's current 1994 rescue boat that is in a state of disrepair.
For information on how to contribute to fundraising efforts go to http://www.liverpoolfirefighters.com/Fundraising.html.