On Saturday (May 21), the Bristol Fire Department was out at the local market in Norway Bay to serve up hot dogs for the community and show off their new rescue boat. The department has been fundraising for the project since last summer, and received numerous donations from local businesses and community members.
The boat’s manufacturer, Christian Larouche of Liberty Boats, was on hand for the occasion and explained the advantages of the inflatable craft that they had purchased. He explained that the boat is very light and the inflatable pontoons are separated into six independent compartments, so even if one is punctured it will still float.
Chief Kevin Kluke explained that the next closest department with a rescue boat is Mansfield-et-Pontefract (roughly 50 km up the road), meaning that in the past they’ve had to use private boats to conduct water rescues. He said that they consulted other departments in the area, including the Ottawa Fire Department detachment across the river in Fitzroy Harbour, to make sure that the new craft would meet their needs. He said that the community raised roughly $45,000 in 10 months to cover the cost of the boat and additions like lights and rescue equipment.