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Posted: April 14, 2015

More questions about public works use by volunteers

Letter to the Editor

In Response to Mr. Chris Zettel’s letter in the Thursday, April 9 issue of e-KNOW.

Firstly—the 1929 ladder truck in question may now be the property of the Cranbrook Firefighter’s Association, but it was originally purchased brand new by the City of Cranbrook with $6,234.00 of taxpayer’s money.

Secondly—could you please clarify and identify for me the safety risk to the volunteers and the financial risk to the City of Cranbrook that you mentioned, but did not expound upon, in your reply to my letter, in the April 10 issue of the Townsman.

You may not be aware, Mr. Zettel, but Larry LaPointe was responsible, along with Brian Howe and Murray English, for the restoration of another antique fire truck. The truck is a 1924 model, purchased by the City of Cranbrook in 1924. Larry and crew replaced the engine and transmission in this vehicle, at the Public Works Garage in 2001, the same garage he was recently asked to vacate, while working on the 1929 Ladder Truck.

A letter of appreciation dated June 22, 2001, addressed to Joe McGowan, Superintendent of Public Works, was sent out over the signature of Wayne Erickson, Deputy Director of Fire and Emergency Services, expressing the gratitude of the fire department “for the professional job” and singling out Brain Howe, Larry LaPointe and Murray English for the hours of their own time spent in getting the truck ready for Sam Steele Days. Copies of this letter went to Larry and Brian.

My question is—what has changed in the interim? Have the safety rules been changed since Larry and his crew worked in the Public Works Garage in 2001? Are the insurance requirements different in 2015? Why was it safe and risk free to use volunteers to refurbish a 1924 fire truck at the Public Works Garage in 2001, but not safe and risk free to use volunteers to refurbish a 1929 ladder truck at the same facility in 2015?

Perhaps this question would best be referred to Mr. McGowan who is still the Superintendent of Public Works for the City of Cranbrook.

I look forward to your reply.

Roy Simon,

Cranbrook


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