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Fundraiser launched for second thermal imaging camera for Three Mile Plains fire district

Firefighter Dan Boyd and Deputy Fire Chief Wayne Swinimer are hoping the community will help to raise the $11,000 needed to purchase a second thermal imaging camera for the Brooklyn Fire Department's Station 2 in Three Mile Plains.
Firefighter Dan Boyd and Deputy Fire Chief Wayne Swinimer are hoping the community will help to raise the $11,000 needed to purchase a second thermal imaging camera for the Brooklyn Fire Department's Station 2 in Three Mile Plains. - Carole Morris-Underhill

BROOKLYN, N.S. — Firefighters are looking to raise enough money to purchase another digital thermal imaging camera for Station 2 in Three Mile Plains.

Brooklyn Fire Chief Andy McDade said they're looking to raise about $11,000, ideally before May.

“We only have one thermal imager in this station and with financial restraints from the municipality being such that they are, there will be no extra money this year for specialized equipment like that,” said McDade.

“It'll just be the meat and potatoes of the firefighting force that we're going to have so we've undertaken our own fundraising campaign.”

The fundraising campaign will feature a weekly 50-50 draw at Bubba Rays Sports Bar and Grill in Garlands Crossing on Thursdays. The draws will occur live on Facebook.

No Curfew will be playing at a dance planned for April 21 at the Brooklyn Civic Centre. The band, which features lead singer Mike Croft, will rock the house from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tickets are $10 apiece.

“They played Tommy Guns just before Christmas and packed the place. Hopefully it'll be a great money maker for us,” said McDade.

Firefighter Dan Boyd, who is the fundraising chair, said he's already sent out sponsorship letters to area businesses in hopes of garnering support for their cause.

“Money is at a premium here with everybody but it's a service that's provided that is paramount and we really feel strongly about the thermal imaging (camera),” said Boyd.

“We're hopeful that some of the businesses in West Hants and surrounding areas will understand and see the need for such an important piece of equipment,” Boyd added.

McDade said the Brooklyn Fire Department's main station has three thermal imaging cameras and Station 2 in Three Mile Plains only has one.

“We've had some pretty serious fatal fires since we've taken over this area in 2015 and another tool in the toolbox is greatly needed,” said McDade.

He said they frequently get called to multiple emergencies and says having the extra gear will only benefit the expanded catchment area that they now service.

“Last year, we had over 70 multiple incidents within the same time frame so it definitely puts the stress on the people and the stress on the gear only having one engine equipped with a thermal imager,” said McDade.

“We're trying to better the fire department for the citizens of West Hants and the surrounding fire districts.”

He said thermal imaging cameras are a crucial tool to have.

“I believe, in the fire service, every attack engine that is out there should have a thermal imager on it. That's what we're hopefully going to set out and get to with this goal,” said McDade.

Deputy fire chief Wayne Swinimer is also hopeful they'll be able to raise enough funds to better equip Station 2.

“It's just another essential part of the firefighting. It makes it much easier for our members when they're going into a fire to locate the seat of the fire or find somebody that's in distress and can use our help,” he said. “It just makes it a lot easier.”

The Hantsport Fire Department currently has four thermal imaging cameras at their disposal (three in Hantsport and one at Station 2 in Southwest Hants). The Windsor Fire Department, which used to be the primary fire service provider for areas like Three Mile Plains and Falmouth, has five.

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