River John firefighters response numbers similar to last year

Sherry Martell
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RIVER JOHN - The River John Fire Department has been called to action 66 times so far this year.
Department Chief David Brown said the call volume is similar to last year's numbers, however, those figures were higher than the trend in the previous years.
"A little less than half of those were medical calls," said Brown.
The small rural brigade responded to about 28 medical calls, along with requests for mutual aid to assist other neighbouring departments, structure fires, car fires and motor- vehicle collisions.
Brown said there are currently about 28 members, and recruitment and retention of new members is a constant challenge.
"There are less people living in the area, and that's getting worse," he said. "There is no work for young people to keep them here."
He said one of the highlights for the department in 2009 was being invited to prepare and serve a lobster dinner for more than 600 people attending the Maritime Fire Chief's Conference in Pictou.
"It went over quite well and we had a lot of help from people in the area," said the chief.
Brown said this year there was improved communication between the community and the department, a trend he hopes to see continue in the future.
"We'd like to thank the community for their support, which is vital so we can continue operating," said the chief.
He said in the coming year the department will also be working toward upgrading equipment. "Our newest truck is actually 12 years old," said Brown. "We're looking at it to see how we can possibly upgrade the fleet."
He said the department's equipment is in good shape but with advances in technology, upgrades are necessary.
On Dec. 3, the department elected officers for the 2010 term.
Brown remains in the chief's seat, while deputies are John MacLellan and Donald MacGregor. Elected captains are Robert Heighton, Terry Heighton, Brian MacLean and Donald MacLean.

smartell@transcontinental.ca


Organizations: River John Fire Department

Geographic location: River John, Pictou

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