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January 18, 2007
For immediate release

O'Leary and Kensington Fire Departments Receive Funds to Improve Response Capabilities

Community and Cultural Affairs

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Emergency response capabilities in central and western Prince Edward Island have received a significant boost, thanks to funding for a new heavy rescue and mobile command vehicle. Elmer MacFadyen, Minister of Community and Cultural Affairs and Minister Responsible for Emergency Measures, recently presented the $40,000 cheque to Chief Jimmy Stewart of the O’Leary Fire Department, on behalf of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada (PSEPC).

“Canada's New Government is taking action to enhance emergency response capability across the country,” said the Honourable Stockwell Day, federal Minister of Public Safety. “Without question the acquisition of this very specialized vehicle does exactly that, not only for residents of O'Leary but throughout western PEI.”

The price tag for the new Mobile Command Post & Heavy Rescue Vehicle is $210,502.00, with more than $170,000 coming from the community and $40,000 from the federal government under the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program (JEPP). The community contribution breaks down as follows: $50,000 from the O’Leary Firemen’s Club and $20,000 from the O’Leary & Area Fire District Committee. The remaining $100,000 is being financed by the Community of O’Leary.

The O’Leary department will own, maintain and crew the vehicle, but it will also be available to all nine volunteer departments comprising the Prince County Mutual Aid Group, as well as to police or ground search and rescue services.

“This funding will help us achieve our goal to provide the highest level of professional emergency service at affordable prices,” said Chief Jimmy Stewart of the O’Leary Volunteer Fire Department. “This one-of-a-kind emergency vehicle was designed by our fire fighters to accommodate a wide verity of special rescue equipment such as high angle, confined space, ice rescue, hazardous material, medical, vehicle extraction, ground search, marine rescue and many more. The JEPP funding was a determining factor enabling us to buy this unit and provide improved services. We would like to thank all of our funding partners for their contribution to our community. We look forward to sharing this unit with any one who needs our help.”

The Kensington Fire Department has also received $4,628 JEPP funding from PSEPC towards the cost of upgrading communications repeater equipment to boost radio range for the Kensington fire department and its mutual aid partners.

“Island fire departments and firefighters are dedicated, not only to fighting fires and saving lives, but to ensuring they are equipped and trained to provide the right response in emergency situations,” said Minister MacFadyen. “Both the O’Leary Volunteer Fire Department and the Kensington Fire Department have shown a true commitment to continued quality of service through the purchase of these new systems.”


The Joint Emergency Preparedness Program was established by the Government of Canada in 1980 in collaboration with provincial and territorial governments to help ensure that all levels of government across Canada are equally prepared to respond to emergencies. To date, the federal government has committed over $145.8 million through this program, including $5,622,493 to the Province of Prince Edward Island to support emergency preparedness projects.

Projects are jointly financed by federal, provincial and territorial governments, with the aim to reduce injuries and loss of human life, property damage, and to assure the continuation of our critical services in an emergency.

To be eligible for funding, JEPP projects must:

• Have a clear objective that supports priorities aimed at enhancing the national, provincial and territorial emergency response capability

• Have an agreed, identifiable beginning and end

• Include a statement of the nature and extent of federal involvement and take into account how federal participation will receive visibility and recognition

• Include a provincial or territorial commitment to the project through funding or in-kind contribution.

Media Contact: Connie McNeill
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