PALMER RAPIDS – Residents packed the new council chambers on February 5 after learning that council is looking to bring change to the Brudenell-Lyndoch-Raglan fire department. In August 2013, council directed Fire Chief John Rutledge to prepare a five year plan for the fire department. A committee was formed to help with the task, which included representatives from each hall.
Essentially, the planning committee was asked to assess the fire department and begin coming up with potential solutions to the problems it is facing today.
Without warning, on December 5, Fire Chief Rutledge resigned from the position, mere weeks before the committee presented its initial findings to council on December 18.
The Gazette obtained the powerpoint presentation that was given to council by the planning group. It contained a list of problems that the fire department is facing including recruitment, fire fighter safety and work efficiency, including the length of time it takes to respond to a call.
Although the planning group did not provide any concrete options to council, the presentation did briefly detail how converting to compressed air foam could potentially benefit a volunteer fire department.
To date, the BLR fire department uses water to extinguish fires but has the capability to use the foam agent to battle blazes.
At the regular council meeting on February 5, the former chief Rutledge approached council to address the foam idea. In fact, he provided one email that he had written that admitted he had stepped down from his position as fire chief in protest to the fire department “strictly going to foam.”
Get your February 12, 2014 edition of The Valley Gazette to read this full story.