By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: July 21, 2012
It’s small in size, but the pager is a crucial piece of technology that every fire fighter must carry with him.
To strengthen that crucial link, the Squamish Fire Rescue has purchased 24 new pagers.
Many of the existing pagers were previously decommissioned and were past their expected life. At one point last year, the fire department had suffered a temporary failure.
In April last year, the Squamish Fire Rescue had received a consultant’s report (Chroma Communications Inc.) on the condition of its radio and paging system.
The report recommended that existing pagers be reviewed to phase out and replace those beyond repair.
It also suggested the practice of using portable radios as pagers cease.
The council had approval the funding from the council contingency to enable the purchase of 24 new pagers.
These pagers were necessary to ensure adequate response and more importantly for the safety of volunteers when responding to emergencies.
Fire Chief Russ Inouye is now breathing easy with the purchase of the new 24 pagers.
The new pagers are made by Motorola, and are smaller in size, he said.
There are now 65 fire fighters working in the fire department; a majority of these pagers would go the new volunteers.
“We often replace our pagers every five years, and we could always use some more,” Inouye said.
The fire chief said the district is also upgrading the Alex Munro hall to make it more earthquake resistant.
Last year, the council balked at giving $50,000 to make seismic upgrades necessary to make the building more secure.
The upgrades would have made the fire hall a “post-disaster building,” which meant it would remain safe and sound and could be used by firefighters in event of an earthquake.
Inouye said the district is currently working on the walls of the Alex Munro fire hall to make it more earthquake resistant.
The work on roof would soon follow, he added.