Director of Public Safety and Fire Chief for the City of Portage la Prairie Brad Bailey says there are a few things outlined in the city's budget that are going toward the welfare of the community.

He notes the fire department's total budget this year is just slightly under $2,000,000. 

"Annually, the city sets increases. We did get a slight increase for this year. So, definitely, we see some new monies come in and that helps to purchase equipment and run our daily operations. One of our biggest challenges these days is equipment. Equipment has gone up astronomically since COVID started so that always poses a challenge with purchasing and replacing new equipment." 

He notes this year will see a new rescue truck for the department. The one they currently have is a 2000 model.

"It's had a good life and a long, long service to the citizens of Portage and it's time to get a new one. It is a longer process due to delays in the supply chain. Typically, fire trucks take two to three years to be built and delivered, so our hope is we get our order in this year. We'll wait for the build and hopefully, it's in service late next year. If not, it will be into 2026."

The rescue truck that's in use now doesn't hold water and is dispatched for technical rescues including motor vehicle accidents, water rescue, any kind of confined space, and road rescue. 

"It carries a multitude of tools and specialty equipment on it. So, it's a very valuable truck. Looking into the future, with it not having water on it, we are looking into one that does carry water, so that it's a multi-purpose vehicle. We want to be able to use our assets to the full extent. With the current price of them, you need to get the most out of them that you can."

Councillor and Chair of Community Safety Colin Doyle adds he feels the budget was handled very responsibly by the Council.