Ponoka Fire Department is receiving the requested funds from Ponoka County to purchase a new Polaris side-by-side with a tank and pump for grass fires and other inaccessible areas.
The purchase will be added to the county’s 2014 budget and Ted Dillon, fire chief, assured council the costs wouldn’t exceed $37,000.
The pump will be able to haul 100 gallons of water and will help alleviate the multiple trips the volunteer firemen have to make because the backpacks they use hold only five gallons each.
Dillon hoped to get obtain equipment as soon as possible. “It’s going to take some time to outfit it all out and grassfire is coming upon is.”
In 2012 the fire department dealt with 23 rubbish and grass fires. In 2013 that number jumped to 46.
Call numbers increase
On average the fire department handles one call every day and a half; already the department has dealt with more calls than at this point in time last year.
“2014 is not starting out good, we’ve had more calls than days in the month,” said Dillon. Most of them have been for the highways and on Jan. 2 the year started out with three calls being fielded in a two-hour period.
Many of the 78 in-town calls amounted to false alarms while others were much more dangerous. “We’ve had some pretty major structure fires,” said Dillon.