Minto Fire Department to provide services for Huntsville G8 summit this June

Local firefighters will be taking to the world stage this summer as they provide firefighting assistance at the G8 Summit in Huntsville this June.

Though some of the details remain hushed due to security reasons, Minto Fire Chief Chris Harrow couldn’t be more pleas­ed about his department’s involvement at the event. For a smaller municipality such as Minto, there is a sense of prestige in being able to take part.

Along with eight firefighters, Minto will be sending some of its backup firefighting equipment as well.

The G8 Summit runs June 25 to 27.

“It’s a great opportunity for Minto and the Minto Fire Department, to be able to go up to the G8?and have the experience of providing fire protection up there, and helping out a neighbouring fire department.”

Harrow explained the de­partment would provide general fire protection services, ex­trication services, fire suppression – “all round fire services within a designated area.”

Harrow said, “We will not be jeopardizing fire services within the Town of Minto or for our residents. It will be status quo here, and we’ll be able to send some equipment up there.”

Harrow added other fire departments are involved such as Saugeen Shores and Centre Wellington Township.

“We’re not the only ones in the area.”

As for how Minto became involved, Harrow said the “Office of the Fire Marshall was involved, and our name was mentioned, and the Town of Huntsville contacted us.”

He said the meetings were successful and an agreement was reached to send some people up. “It’s an honour to take part in an event such as this.”

The process included general meetings. “They wanted to make sure there was trained staff and the proper equipment. We do have the proper equipment and reserves to send up there.”

He said there was no additional training required to work with the other departments since everyone is trained under the same curriculum in the province, to the same levels.

“We have qualified trained people, we are able to send there.”

Harrow said Minto fire­fight­­ers will be integrated with a senior officer from the Huntsville department, with the Minto crew “to help us get around the area and work with the idiosyncrasies of the area.”

As for the selection process, Harrow said he “threw the idea out to the guys and over 20 people from the department applied. I sat down with our senior staff and we came up with a list.”

He said that included experienced people, specifically with experience in a number of areas, to provide appropriate protection.

However, Harrow said anyone in the department would be able to provide adequate protection.

“That was the hardest part, selecting people to go up there. There was a lot of them champing at the bit to go up there. It shows the dedication of firefighters, that they wanted to go up there and be part of it. It made me very proud that they were that eager to participate.” He said firefighters head there the week of June 21.

Because of security, he is not at liberty to provide details of exactly when crews will begin and end service, or the area they will cover.