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  • Fire department purchases questioned

    Dear Editor;
    As we all know with oil prices dropping and taxes rising most of us that wish to continue with the idyllic life we have chosen in Chestermere have to in some measure tighten their belts and make wiser choices with our funds. This being the case I have some questions for the City Council and residents of our beautiful new City.
    We have an aerial truck worth approximately 1.5 million dollars which was not present at the fire on Paradise Road on January 29th . Having never understood why our town/city required a truck with capabilities such as a reach of 115 feet, building heights which Chestermere will likely never see , and when we had responders from Irricana and Langdon at a cost to us, why was our big expensive truck not on scene to assist? If it is overkill at a house fire why was it purchased in the first place? What do we expect to have happen that will require this type of unit? Do we have firefighters trained in the use and maintenance and repair of this unit? I am aware grants were available for part or all of the purchase. This still causes me to wonder why a quality ladder truck wasn’t purchased when it would have served the needs of this community much better, much less expensive.. Calgary Fire Department has 2 (?) of these large aerial trucks for a population of 1.1 million people.
    We have now allegedly purchased a new Timberwolf 4×4, 4 door cab truck ostensibly for use in medical calls for Chestermere and Rocky View. These extremely large units cost in the neighbourhood of $300,000.and up. This raises the question of what are we going to do with the EMS wagon we now have when our firefighters are restricted to Chestermere calls only. It is a poorly kept secret that Rocky View County is attempting to get out of the medical response business as this is the domain of the Province i.e.; Alberta Health Services. Every other centre big and small is making this wise cost efficient decision and Chestermere is purchasing new vehicles that will remain in our City limits.
    Chestermere is badly in need of repairs and upgrades to our arena, what could have been done if some of those funds had been directed to that area?
    Is anyone else in our community concerned or questioning the spending? Were these purchases required in an era of high taxes and low oil prices? Were these purchases required before the economy took a downward spiral? These funds, one way or the other, come out of the pockets of all of us who reside in Chestermere.
    S. Baisi
    Chestermere, Ab.