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Council approves contract for fire monitoring, purchase of thermal cameras

Thompson city council unanimously approved two resolutions related to fire protection at its brief July 12 meeting.
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Thompson city council unanimously approved two resolutions related to fire protection at its brief July 12 meeting.

The first resolution related to remote monitoring of fire panels at six city buildings – the public safety building, the library, the public works building, the carpentry shop, the wastewater treatment plant and the Thompson Regional Community Centre – which used to be monitored by Thompson Fire & Emergency Services using the Keltron system, which has become obsolete, with parts no longer available.

Remote monitoring of the fire panels for a period of one year was awarded to Get Security, the only company to submit a quote, which already monitors fire panels at the Norplex Pool and the water treatment plant. The total cost for the equipment, installation and 12 months of monitoring is $9,720 plus taxes.

Coun. Les Ellsworth asked if city administration had looked at a longer contract than one year. 

“We only budgeted for one year of funding for it,” said city manager Anthony McInnis.

Councillors also approved the purchase of 38 thermal imaging cameras for the fire department, the cost of which is being covered by a grant from the province.

TFES had up to $50,000 to spend on the cameras, which came to a total of just over $37,000.

“Thermal imaging cameras will be a new addition to our department,” said a memo to council from acting fire chief Steve Molloy. “This equipment enables the firefighter to ‘see’ the fire through walls and keep ‘eyes’ on it until its extinguished. These advancements will not only help to better orient oneself in a building or find the seat of a fire, but will give each member of the crew another vital piece of equipment designed to make sure they go home safe at the end of the call.”

Obtaining new equipment at no cost is a win-win, said Ellsworth.

“Anytime we can upgrade our equipment and tools that we need for the fire protection of Thompson is a good thing,” he said.”The more we can get through grants, that means the less that the taxpayers pay.”

The province will reimburse the city for the cost of the cameras and the difference between their price and the $50,000 that was available will revert to back to the provincial government.

Council meets again on Aug. 16 before returning to meeting every two weeks in September.