GORDON – Thanks to a very generous donation of a full set of jaws of life (life saving equipment), the Gore Bay-Gordon/Barrie Island Joint Volunteer Fire Department will have the tools to free someone who has been involved in a serious vehicle accident.
Brian Culp, district chief of the Lincoln Fire Department (Niagara Region), presented the donated full set of jaws of life equipment to members of the local fire department last Friday, at the local fire station.
“We would like to thank you very much for this donation; it’s very much appreciated,” stated Mike Addison, Gore Bay fire chief. “We have talked about having this type of equipment for years but unfortunately we have never had the funds in the budget to provide for this.”
Lee Hayden, chair of the Gore Bay-Gordon/Barrie Island Fire Board said, “on behalf of our municipalities we thank you very much for this very generous gift. It is a very nice upgrade in equipment for the firefighters.”
“I just hope it will help and you can enjoy this equipment,” stated Mr. Culp, who has been a full-time firefighter for the past 33 years. He is the full-time crew chief in Vaughan as well.
Mr. Culp explained, “we have gone totally electrical (battery powered) (having purchased their own jaws of life equipment). I used to come up to the Island as a teenager and I’ve been friends with Rob Dearing (a Gore Bay resident and former member of the Gore Bay-Gordon/Barrie Island Fire Department) a long time, who told me what your local fire department uses for cases of extrication.” He noted the Lincoln Fire Department had the full set of jaws of life equipment for 15 years and it is still in very good shape. “It would cost $40,000 (new) for this equipment. I had talked to Mike (Addison) as to what the local fire team uses for auto extrication situations; after this, your firefighters won’t have to use pry bars again.”
Among the equipment items was a cutter, spreader, pump, ram and hoses.
“We appreciate this donation,” said Fire Chief Addison, who pointed out, “a number of us on the fire department have done training for extrication using jaws of life and hand tools.”
Mr. Hayden, who is also reeve of Gordon/Barrie Island said, “Gore Bay passed a motion accepting the equipment the other night. And from our end, it is a go, provided the firefighters get training.”
Mr. Addison told the Recorder prior to the presentation, “Rob (Dearing) who is a good friend of Mr. Culp’s had called me and explained his buddy was on the Lincoln Fire Department and that they had a set of jaws of life equipment they were looking to give to another fire department. Rob used to be a valuable member of the fire department and still supports our team.”
“Bottom line, if we have the opportunity to save a life by having this equipment and these services, why not do it,” stated Mr. Addison.
Mr. Addison noted almost all, if not every fire department, on Manitoulin has a set of jaws of life equipment.
“We train all the time and will work training on the jaws of life into our normal training exercises,” added Mr. Addison.