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Port Medway Fire Department raises money for rescue boat


The 19-foot, double-fiberglass hulled rib pontoon boat pictured here is exactly like the boat the Port Medway Fire Department plans to purchase.
The 19-foot, double-fiberglass hulled rib pontoon boat pictured here is exactly like the boat the Port Medway Fire Department plans to purchase. - Contributed

Port Medway Fire Department, incorporated in 1962, has a membership of 18 active firefighters who respond to fire and medical emergencies throughout the community of Port Medway as well as providing mutual aid assistance to the other fire departments in the Region of Queens.

There are approximately 210 homes in the Port Medway catchment area and in responding to emergencies, the department operates with three apparatus. On an average year, the department responds to between 70 to 80 calls.

Kendall Farmer, the department’s chief and treasurer, explains that through the emergency calls answered in 2018, it was determined that there was a high need for a rescue boat to be located in Port Medway. Therefore, the department has launched a fundraising campaign to purchase a rescue boat, the cost of which is estimated at $70,000.

To kick-start the fundraising effort, Port Medway Fire Department will be hosting a casino night fundraiser on March 30 with the proceeds going toward the purchase of the boat and all necessary equipment.

The event is being held at the Port Medway Fire Hall from 7 to 10 pm and will feature a mystery auction for which local businesses and individuals have donated merchandise. There will also be a cash bar, canteen and a grand door prize. Only those over the age of 19 will be admitted.

Farmer, along with an organizing committee consisting of Sharon Crawford, Deb Lemon and Elizabeth Bethell from the Port Medway Ladies Auxiliary, have been working hard to create a fun-filled evening with a monetary goal for the event being set at $5,000.

Having the 19-foot, rib-style pontoon rescue boat readily accessible in Port Medway will go a long way in helping the department achieve its mandate of fully protecting the community, even on the water, Farmer says while encouraging everyone to come out on March 30 to support the worthwhile cause.

“Based on a series of events last year, we saw the need to have our own boat,” he explains. “Not that we weren’t well served through mutual aid by other departments who have their own boats that they will bring to assist us, but we just feel that having a rescue boat in our own community will improve our response time when an emergency happens on water.”

In particular, Farmer says, he wanted to thank Liverpool Fire Department and Queens Ground Search and Rescue who have responded in the past with their boats when they needed assistance. He points out, as well, that with Port Medway having their own boat with trained personnel, they will be in a better position to assist other departments should the need arrive.

“Of course, we hope we are in position where we never have to use our boat,” Farmer says. “But we feel we will be in better position to help in emergencies with this equipment and as a coastal community, we see this as an essential component of our emergency equipment.”

In addition to all of those who are helping to bring the casino event together, Farmer says they would especially like to acknowledge the support they receive from the Region of Queens Municipality and the Medway Area Community Association who both agreed to allow the fire department to house the boat at the warehouse next to the government wharf.

It takes the support of the entire community to pull together an event such as this and he says they appreciate everyone’s help.

“We hope everyone will come and fun,” he says. “But also we want them to remember that we are doing this for an important cause.”

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