Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Podunk Below the Masthead, Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A new truck continues its way down the assembly line destined for the Prince Rupert Fire Department, Health Cuts are explained at Northern Health and fish ranching in Alaska, some of our items of interest for Tuesday.

Daily News, front page, headline story
All Fired up about the new truck-- Prince Rupert Fire Rescues new truck is about five months away as Fire Chief David McKenzie took part in a final inspection in September prior to taking delivery after what will be a rather round about way of arriving on the north coast (Daily News Archive Article )

Shelia Gordon-Payne the newly installed Health Services Administrator for Northern Health's Prince Rupert operations has had to tackle some thorny issues in her short period of time on the job. All part of the requirement to reduce the Health Services budget in Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii by some 2.4 million dollars.

Among the ones that will no doubt receive the most discussion in town are the reworking of the emergency and ICU work schedules which will see a reduction in staff after 11:30 pm, the movement of the Healthy Heart program back to the Hospital from its downtown Ocean centre location and the decision to end the current security arrangement at the hospital, providing more training to staff in house, to better handle their security needs (Daily News Archive article )
The city won't be receiving any money from Sun Wave Forest Products for the 2009 tax year, as when the city acquired the property on September 29th the debt for those 2009 taxes was extinguished. And if Rupertites might think that some of the other properties that Sun Wave hold title to on Watson Island could be tapped for the outstanding taxes they would be wrong, according to the City, that property cannot be used to recoup the taxes and no liens an be placed on those properties to try to collect on the outstanding debts (Daily News Archive Article )

Harry Nyce Sr, was named this weekend past as the next President of the UBCM, the member of the Nisga'a nation will hold the position for the next year, providing leadership of the organization that advocates for the province's municipalities (Daily News Archive Article)

The Sports section features a look at the High school volleyball season and the end of the golf season on the North coast.

CFTK TV 7 News
Enbridge's Reaction to the Petersfield-- CFTK Television's website offers up some reaction from Enbridge to the recent Marine Incident in Douglas Channel, seeking to offer up reassurances to North coast residents over their plans for oil shipments through that same area should their Gateway project get the go ahead (read article here)

CBC Northern British Columbia, Daybreak North
Fish Ranching-- The CBC features a report on the fish ranching developments in Alaska and the impact that they may have on salmon stocks up and down the Pacific coast of North America. (listen to the feature here)

Daily News, Front page, headline story
All fired up about the new truck
By Monica Lamb -Yorski

The Prince Rupert Daily News
Tuesday, October 6, 2009

In about five months, Prince Rupert's new fire truck will arrive.

The final prep inspection was made between September 21 and 23 by Prince Rupert's fire chief David McKenzie who traveled to the Pierce Factory in Appelton, Wisconsin to finalize the specs, item by line item.

The last time the City purchased a new truck was in 1997 and McKenzie said he's very excited about the new one.

"It's going to be traditional colours - red and white," he said, adding that the new one will cost $628,000 US.

McKenzie spent the first day going through the plant and was one of 139 customers that visit the manufacturer each day, either to do final prep or final inspections.

"It's a huge facility," the fire chief observed. "There are 1800 employees and they have another one in Florida that has 700 workers. The frames, wiring, pumps and cabs - everything's built custom there."

And all the work is done by hand because there are no robotic welders, McKenzie said. "There is a lot of pride."

McKenzie saw a painting shop that was 80,000 sq. feet and it was one of a number of buildings. There are also several assembly lines, one just for rescue vans, he added.

He saw a command vehicle under construction for a Sheikh from the Middle East that had a room about 10 by 14 feet being built into it.

"It had camel skin chairs and was worth $1.5 million US," McKenzie noted.

The frame for Rupert's fire truck will be started now that McKenzie has been to the factory to finalize the plans.

"You pick everything from colours to features, and anything you don't want. Where you want the gauges, the radio controls and how things will be configured."

By January, Rupert's truck should be sitting on the Blue Floor at the factory and at that time, McKenzie will return, taking along a mechanic, for a final inspection.

The two will spend a couple of days going over everything. They will drive it, test it and make sure that the truck is exactly what was requested. After that the vehicle will be sent to Wholesale Fire Rescue in Calgary, where all the loose equipment will be added - things that Pierce doesn't build, explained McKenzie.

From there the truck will go to Bellingham, Washington to travel by ferry to Alaska and from Ketchikan to Prince Rupert.

"The permit costs to send it from Calgary to Prince Rupert would have been $5,000, but going to Bellingham and then by ferry is $1,100 US," said McKenzie.

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