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Island Barrington Passage Fire Department adds to their arsenal thanks to support group

With their peers in the background, IBPFD Support Group President Vera Penney and IBPFD Deputy-Chief  Corey Crowell pose with the new battery-operated jaws of life purchased by the Support Group for the department.
With their peers in the background, IBPFD Support Group President Vera Penney and IBPFD Deputy-Chief Corey Crowell pose with the new battery-operated jaws of life purchased by the Support Group for the department. - Kathy Johnson

BARRINGTON, N.S. – The Island Barrington Passage Fire Department (IBPFD) has a new tool in their vehicle extrication arsenal thanks to another donation from the IBPFD Support Group.

“They’ve done quite a bit for the department, especially in the last few years,” said president and treasurer Garnet Sullivan, which has not only benefitted the department, but the community as a whole as well.

The Support Groups’ latest contribution is the purchase of a new combination vehicle extraction tool (jaws of life).

“It’s battery operated so it makes our boys far more fluid in the field. They’re not tied up with generators and stuff. They can take it and jump right at the scene and go with it,” said Sullivan.

The new equipment cost about $20,000 and is just one piece of extrication equipment purchased by the Support Group.

“They also paid for half the extrication equipment on our rescue truck about $50,000,” said Sullivan. They also spent about $30,000 on the new wheelchair accessible porch on the front of hall, helped out with paving out front and purchased dress uniforms for the firemen.”

The IBPFD has only been in existence since 2002, becoming the first amalgamated fire department in the Municipality of Barrington when the Clark’s Harbour, South Side, and Barrington Passage volunteer fire departments joined forces.

Much the same as many of the firefighters, members of the Support Group were also involved in the three departments prior to merging, some for more than 45 years.

“It’s a social night for me,” said support group president Vera Penney. “We get together, gab a little bit, come up with some new ideas once and awhile. It’s a good feeling to know that you’ve helped your community.”

Penney said the same volunteers have been helping out for years.

“It’s hard to get young people to join,” she said.

The IBPFD Support Group carries out numerous fundraisers during the year that not only support the department, but also local youth, with the sponsorship of four bursaries, and a yearly visit from Santa. From hall rentals to events, such as the Friday night crib tournaments which starts in January to the perennial favorite Seal Island Breakfast, Penney said the support group was glad they had the money to help the fire department purchase the new extrication tool.

“We’re glad we can help them when we can,” she said.

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