A Cumberland County fire department which saw its station and trucks destroyed in April by a devastating blaze didn't wait long before the loaner apparatus from Bridgewater's fire service was put into action.
Bridgewater's Engine 4, a 1996 pumper built on a Volvo chassis, arrived at the Shinimicas fire department in recent weeks and was called within 14 hours to respond to a neighbouring district in mutual aid to a structure fire.
"The truck performed flawlessly," the Shinimicas fire service commented in a social media post, noting they used the pumper "much sooner" than it anticipated.
The Main Street of the South Shore agreed to temporarily lease its reserve pumper to Shinimicas after Bridgewater's chief and deputy chief raised the possibility of loaning equipment to the community that lost its station, apparatus, and damaged much of its gear. Shinimicas has been depending on loaned items since the fire.
Bridgewater's Engine 4 is the local department's reserve unit and is put into service if there is equipment failure involving other apparatus.
The loan agreement contains clauses allowing for Bridgewater to recall the truck back to town, if needed. Other provisions deal with insurance, licencing and training, and maintenance and repair.
While there are templates for lease agreements, civic politicians in Bridgewater talked about, at some point, establishing a standardized form for loans outside of the region so legal opinions aren't required after every request.
Meanwhile, Shinimicas appreciated the early offer and graciously accepted the loaner. "Not only did they provide this truck, but it came fully equipped and ready to respond," the Shinimicas department said in a social media post.
"This is a beautiful unit that will operate as our first out apparatus most calls."
"We are so proud to be part of both a province and a public service that, when the chips are down, will always step up to help out others whether they are friends or strangers."