Making funds available to volunteer fire departments through the Emergency Services Provider Fund is something of which I am very proud. Each year the Government of Nova Scotia has provided an opportunity for local fire departments to submit an application for eligible costs related to lifesaving equipment needed by the brigades.

This protective equipment is critical in keeping our volunteer firefighters safe. Each fire brigade identifies their own needs and submits an application for provincial funding up to 50% of eligible costs. This equipment varies from one brigade to another and I am pleased to announce that funding for 2020/21 exceeded $1 million across the province.

Brigades are eligible every third year to submit their application. This year three brigades in Colchester North were eligible and each brigade was successful with their application.

Debert Volunteer Fire Brigade identified protective equipment including breathing apparatus, air bottles, hose and bunker gear necessary to protect their volunteer fire members. A total of $19 486.12 has been provided to the brigade by the provincial Government.

Five Islands Volunteer Fire Brigade included similar protective gear, as well as additional tanks and radios for a total of $20 000 which Government approved.

Great Village & District Fire Brigade also received $20 000 towards the purchase of their protective equipment.

I commend the members of all brigades for their ongoing efforts to be progressive with their lifesaving equipment. This provides protection not only for the members themselves, but it assists them in safely responding to emergencies in our communities. With most brigades the matching 50% of the funds is covered by fundraising activities from both the fire brigade and the brigade auxiliary. Any support that community members can give to their fire brigade goes directly to these equipment purchases.

Karen Casey, MLA

Colchester North