KENSINGTON – Fighting fires in Kensington got a bit safer as of Tuesday night.
The town’s council unanimously approved the purchase of a breathing apparatus communications system for the firefighters at its regular monthly meeting.
The technology includes lapel microphones and in-helmet communications systems that will allow the fire chief on scene to stay in radio contact with firefighters inside a burning building.
“Right now, they rely on the use of sirens in the emergency vehicles to alert the firefighters that they need to get out,” said town CAO Geoff Baker, who suggested that most other Island fire departments have a similar communications system.
“This will give (the chief) a means of staying in constant communication with them while they’re inside a burning building. It’s a way of adding another level of safety for our firefighters.”
Bell Aliant is providing the required radios at a cost of more than $2,000, while T&K Fire Equipment Ltd. will furnish the in-helmet technology for $5,340.
The cost will be covered by the fire department’s own capital, which comes largely from dues paid in what is one of the Island’s largest fire districts.
Tuesday night marked the final meeting before the newly elected council is officially sworn in on Nov. 19.
The faces around the table won’t change much: Deputy Mayor Paul Chessman did not reoffer in the Nov. 5 municipal election, while Rodney Mann will be the lone newcomer to Kensington council.