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Firehouse Subs grant helps city purchase rescue boat (3 photos)

'In an emergency, every second counts and having this new equipment ... increases the fire department’s response capacity ... during a rescue,' says fire chief

The Orillia Fire Department unveiled its new rescue boat during a ceremony at the Couchiching Beach Park boat launch earlier today.

The 14-foot rescue boat is equipped with an inflation kit, outboard motor, and fuel tank. It will become the primary vessel for off-season water emergencies, replacing an older, smaller model.

"The new boat has the capabilities to be used in the water outside of the regular boating season and will play a critical role for river rescues and accessing areas such as Grape Island in an emergency," said Orillia Fire Chief Michael Clark. 

“In an emergency, every second counts and having this new equipment on hand increases the fire department’s response capacity as we can hold more equipment and people during a rescue," Clark said.

The fire department received a $23,105.45 grant from Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation of Canada to purchase the lifesaving boat.

“We wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the generosity of Firehouse Subs,” Clark said.

Firehouse Subs Orillia franchisee, Nilam Shah, says he is proud to partner with the Orillia Fire Department to purchase the rescue boat.

“This rescue boat will make a difference in the way they are doing things,” he said. “This allows them to access any emergency in the water.”

Shah says it’s important to him and Firehouse Subs to support the people who protect the community where they do business.

“Our first responders work very hard,” he said. “They are our family, our neighbours, our friends, and it’s important that they have the right equipment to do the job.”

Orillia mayor, Steve Clarke, was on hand for the unveiling of the new rescue vessel on Wednesday. 

“I know this will be a benefit to the fire department,” he said. “It’s so much easier to get somebody out of the water in a boat like this versus a more traditional model.”

Clarke lauded the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation for funding the boat's purchase.

“This is truly something to celebrate,” he said.

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Tyler Evans

About the Author: Tyler Evans

Tyler Evans got his start in the news business when he was just 15-years-old and now serves as a video producer and reporter with OrilliaMatters
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