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Do firefighters have the best equipment to fight wildfires?

Do firefighters have the best equipment to fight wildfires?

A Quebec manufacturer of equipment to help firefighters fight wildfires thinks it could benefit from equipment that is easier to use than the model created in 1964.

To control fires, like the one that has been raging for several weeks across the country, Canadairs aren’t the only devices in use. On the ground, many firefighters sometimes have to move around using pumps to draw water from a water source such as a lake to put out the flames.

“Imagine firefighters having to carry the pump on their back a kilometer or so long distances to get to the lake,” explains Frédéric LeFranco, Vice President of WATERAX.

For nearly 60 years, Canadian agencies, including the Society for Forest Fire Protection (SOPFEU), have used a pump designed by a Quebec company in 1964.

“It is famous for its performance and durability. It is a technology that is always effective,” admitted Mr. Lefrançois. “Today we have a development of this pump that we will commercialize in 2022.”

This new model is 30 percent lighter than the 9,000 pumps currently in use across Canada, according to the company. From 60 to 40 pounds, it’s also easy to handle.

For the vice president, two issues are holding up a potential transition. “Agencies have a large fleet of pumps that are a bit outdated. In addition, each agency has budget cycles and is limited in adopting new technology.

Image provided by WATERAX

trial time

For its part, SOPFEU will remain true to the 1964 model. It has 800 units.

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“I’m not saying we’re not interested. [à adopter le nouveau modèle]Stéphane Caron, SOPFEU Prevention and Communications Coordinator, said:

The organization has already ordered five pumps of the 2022 model which are currently being tested. “Before introducing new models, you also need to see if the change adds value,” said Mr. Caron.