The Bristol Fire Department is nearing completion of the fundraising for their new rescue boat, thanks to the support of the community and local businesses.
Firefighter Ken Bernard said that having a rescue boat would be a huge asset to the municipality, which is situated along the Ottawa River and has a bustling cottage community in Norway Bay. Currently, they have to call in rescue boats from Mansfield-et-Pontefract or Gatineau, both of which are roughly an hour away.
Bernard said that they’re currently sitting at roughly $24,000, just shy of the $35,000 that they’re aiming to raise. Last weekend, they received a sizable boost from Gord and Robert Black of Logs End, who donated $10,000 to the cause. Bernard added that Riley McGregor of Bristol Auto Performance had also pledged $5 from every winter tire installed until December 1, and he said it was encouraging to see the support from local businesses.
Bernard said that currently the department has about eight firefighters who completed their water rescue training in September.
He said that they recently visited the fire station across the river in Fitzroy Harbour to examine their rescue boat, which is roughly the same type they are looking to purchase. Members of the department are also planning a trip to Liberty Boats, a manufacturer south of Montreal to examine their models.
Bernard said that once they settled on a model, they would be aiming to have boat for next year.
Those looking to donate can send e-transfers to bristolfiredept2021 gmail.com, or make donations directly to Bernard or another member of the department.
The full interview with Bernard is available here.