Help on the Water

Members of the Alton Project team were on hand October 12 with members of the Stewiacke and District Volunteer Fire Department for the official unveiling of the new rescue boat supported by the Alton Natural Gas Storage Project

October 26, 2016

The Stewiacke and District Volunteer Fire Department can now help people in trouble on the water, thanks to a recent donation from the Alton Natural Gas Storage Project.

Earlier in October, the department added a new rescue boat to its equipment, with Alton providing the funding for the boat, outboard motor and trailer.

“The boat is a very helpful addition to the equipment we have here at the Department,” says Fire Chief Brent Murdock. “The boat will help us as volunteer firefighters to be better able to respond to calls to help the public.”

On the water, a rescue involving the boat will involve three trained volunteer firefighters, one to run the engine and two to help with the rescue. They will be supported by firefighters on shore as needed.

The coverage area for the Stewiacke and District Volunteer Fire Department covers large sections of the Stewiacke and Shubenacadie rivers, as well as local lakes. But until now, if a person was in trouble on the water, the department would need to call a neighboring fire department with a boat to help out, losing valuable time during a rescue.

Murdock says the boat also adds a new aspect to training for the volunteer firefighters at the department, and may help recruit new volunteers who are interested in helping with water rescue. He adds that the department is in the process of acquiring waterproof suits and safety gear for the firefighters operating the boat. As well, additional training will take place before the boat is fully operational in a few weeks. The rescue boat, motor and trailer were purchased through Seamasters Marine Services in Dartmouth, NS and are valued at approximately $7,500.

The health and safety of our staff and the public and the protection of the environment are top priorities for Alton Natural Gas Storage.

“We are pleased to support the fire department with the acquisition of the boat,” says Charles Lyons, Vice-President of Environment, Health and Safety for AltaGas, the parent company of Alton. “Helping volunteer firefighters in our operating areas is an investment in community safety for everyone.”