Smith’s Cove Fire Department still providing full service

Smith's Cove fire fighters remain on duty after water damage at fire hall

The Smith’s Cove Fire Department continues to provide emergency services during repair work at the local fire hall.

Andrena Teed

Capt. Alexander Elderkin demonstrates that the Smith’s Cove firefighters are ready and able to attend emergency situations in the area.  Andrena Teed/Kicker

On Jan. 18, broken pipes caused extensive damage at the Smith’s Cove Fire Hall.  Firefighters and insurance adjusters quickly assessed the damage and drew up a plan for repairs. They realized that at least one fire truck had to be moved to carry out the repairs.

Snyder appealed to Smith’s Cove residents for a large garage to house the truck.  There were several suggestions.  One garage fit the requirements for the tanker truck.  The tanker is now temporarily out of service. 

Smith’s Cove residents can be confident that the Smith’s Cove Fire Department can still respond to fires and vehicle accidents in the area.   

The rapid response vehicle and the main fire truck will remain at the fire hall during renovations.

The regular fire truck will stay inside the building.  It is parked in a different bay, so it will not interfere with the repair work.

Fire Chief Josh Snyder, in casual clothes, shows that his department’s rapid response vehicle remains fully operational. Residents will see this vehicle sitting outside the fire hall during the day while repairs are underway. The vehicle will be checked regularly during the day and parked inside at night. Andrena Teed/Kicker

The volunteer firefighters will move the rapid response vehicle in and out of the building to give space for the repair workers. They will check the vehicles regularly, making sure they are fully operational and ready for a call-out.

“We are prepared to respond quickly”

“Smith’s Cove firefighters can respond to chimney, car and dumpster fires.” said Fire Chief Josh Snyder.  “We are ready to offer emergency assistance at a vehicle accident. Events can come up quickly, but we are prepared to respond quickly.”

Chief Josh Snyder and Capt. Alexander Elderkin check the equipment on a rapid rescue vehicle. The ‘jaws-of-life’ are stored in the vehicle.  They operate easily even when the vehicle has been outside for a few hours.   Andrena Teed/Kicker

“We have enough water on the main truck to get a small fire out,” Snyder said. “We have a system installed on the rescue that will put out small fires as well. When you put the two of them together, we are self-sufficient and can take care of most situations.”

“We are still able to fight fires or get to vehicle accidents.”

The volunteer fire department is well-prepared for bigger fires, like a structure fire. 

“If we have a big fire, we get automatic mutual aid from Bear River and Digby Fire Departments. So, if there’s a fire in Smith’s Cove, we’re OK,” he added.

Capt. Alexander Elderkin commented that the volunteer firefighters remain in good spirits.

“We’ve learned a lot from this.  But the best part is that we are still able to fight fires or get to vehicle accidents.  Or help during a storm.” 

Warming centre open when needed

The Smith’s Cove Fire Hall is used as a warming centre when required during a winter storm. A warming centre opens only after the community goes 24 hours without power. Residents are sent updated information about the warming centre before a potential major storm.

“I just got a notice about the warming centre,” said Debbie Miller, a former member of the Smiths’ Cove Fire Department Auxiliary. “Amazing how fast the team has come together and can respond to emergencies again. That’s a big thing for us who live here.”

Volunteer firefighter uniforms are kept ready for emergencies.  Each firefighter has an assigned coat hook and spot on the bench.  This arrangement helps them get ready quickly and efficiently.  Andrena Teed/Kicker

Smith’s Cove Firefighters are all volunteers, and many of them live in Smith’s Cove.  

“Fire halls are the lifeblood of the community,”  Snyder said. “We are part of the community, serving the community.”

The water damage is extensive. Repairs will take some time.  An estimated date for completion is not yet available.

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