Ontario's First Nations Communities receive 15 Pierce pumpers
Pierce Manufacturing Inc.,an Oshkosh Corporation company, is supplying 15 Pierce commercial pumper vehicles to Ontario First Nations communities throughout the province of Ontario. The Ontario First Nations' Technical Services Corporation (OFNTSC), whose mission includes technical advisory services for all 134 of the Ontario First Nations, purchased the vehicles. Eleven have been placed into service, and the remaining four will travel to more isolated communities this winter after ice roads are opened. All 15 trucks were delivered to the province in less than two months.
"These are remote and, in some cases, extremely isolated communities where the only way in is by float plane," said Eugene McPherson, Fire Prevention Officer and President of the Ontario Native Fire Fighters Society. "Many of our First Nations communities have never had a new fire truck, and, quite frankly, these vehicles can mean the difference between life and death. The arrivals of the trucks are celebrated events, as they help ensure the safety of these communities."
The local Pierce dealer, Darch Fire of Ayr, Ontario provides sales, local service and support. John Darch, and instructors under the direction of Moe Douglas from the Matawa First Nations Council, presented a comprehensive four-day training course for First Nation Fire Fighters from the communities of Big Trout Lake First Nation, Fort Hope First Nation, Muskrat Dam First Nation, and Sandy Lake First Nation.
"Every new Pierce fire truck has an interesting story of its own, and these 15 pumpers being placed into service throughout northern Ontario are certainly no exception," said Jim Johnson, Oshkosh Corporation executive vice president and president, Fire & Emergency. "Pierce's extensive stock vehicles program, along with our dealer's expertise, helped us meet the needs of the OFNTSC and the individual departments. We are happy to see these trucks in their new homes."
"After a thorough process that included input from committees, tribal councils and fire chiefs, we built comprehensive specifications and put this important order out to bid. We were very happy with response from Pierce and its dealer, Darch Fire," said Bob Howsam, OFNTSC executive director. "They allowed for some equipment and configuration customization by each First Nation department."
The OFNTSC was established in 1995 to provide expert technical advisory services to the First Nations of Ontario. At that time, it was the first aboriginal organization in Canada mandated to provide professional technical and advisory services to First Nations communities and foster their technical self-reliance. The OFNTSC represents all 134 First Nations in Ontario, including 16 Tribal Councils, six large First Nations and 18 unaffiliated First Nations.
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