Once again I am proud of our Liberal Government as we support local fire departments through the Emergency Services Provider Fund. This funding is available through application to fire departments across the province, as well as First Responders, Ground Search and Rescue Teams and Hazmat Organizations. Each applicant is eligible to apply for funding up to $20 000 once every three years and we recently announced approval of applications from 47 Emergency Service Providers to a total of $500 000.
I was very proud to join Fire Chief Wade Jennings and members of the Debert Fire Brigade to announce that they were the recipients of $20 000 from this fund. Organizations are eligible to receive up to 50% of eligible costs for the purchase of new equipment. The present equipment owned by the Debert Fire Brigade for use in extracting passengers from a motor vehicle needed to be upgraded. With metal materials now used in many vehicles, these tools needed to be replaced. A telescopic ram, spreader and cutter will be purchased with the funds our Government has been able to provide to the Debert Fire Brigade. As fire members told me they hope they never have to use these tools, but in order to be prepared to respond whenever the call may come, they will be more efficient with the use of this upgraded equipment.
As a government we need to ensure that our First Responders have the equipment they need to do their job safely and to respond to the community as quickly and efficiently as possible. Other fire brigades in Colchester North have been the recipients of funding from this investment in the past.
I want to thank the brigade members, auxiliary members and volunteers who work hard to raise funds to match those provided by the province. I also want to thank members in our communities in Colchester North who support fundraising events with their local fire brigades. It is always reassuring to go to bed at night knowing that the fire brigade that may respond in the case of an emergency is well trained and well equipped to protect us in time of need. Many times firemen put themselves in harms way and for that we say Thanks.