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Firefighters and City Crews Blaze Trails for West Side Community

17-Aug-2012

(Saint John, NB)  Four Saint John Firefighters traded in their big red engines for an off-road vehicle today.  The ARGO, the department’s special operations off-road vehicle, will be navigating a west side walking trail.

The Saint John Fire Department is teaming up with the City of Saint John’s Neighbourhood Support and Recreation Service and the Parks and Public Spaces Service to assist with brush clearing on the Emera Trail and is using  the opportunity to educate the public on the department’s special rescue equipment.

The hiking trail officially opened in September 2011, and features spectacular views of Reversing Falls and the St. John River.   “The Saint John Fire Department is happy to pitch in along with our city crews to develop this spectacular trail, says Division Fire Chief Mark Wilson.  However, working here with the ARGO also prompts an awareness that emergencies don’t just happen on roads or in buildings.  Saint John has such a variety of terrain, from our water sources, marshland, heavily wooded areas, and complex topography.  The ARGO allows fire and rescue personnel to navigate through off-road terrain in order to access areas such as wooded trails or in winter through ice and snow into more remote locations.”

The Emera Trail is located in the Lou Murphy Park at 247 Milford Road.  It is open to the public and provides an easy hike that takes approximately 40-60 minutes to complete.  Maps and way-finding signs are also being installed.

About the ARGO
With its 8 - 25” tires, the ARGO can quickly and safely transport  rescue personnel , cargo, and injured civilians though deep mud, water and snow and over rocks and ice. With a top land speed of 32 kmh, the vehicle operates for up to 12 hours on one tank of fuel.  The ARGO can transport up to six passengers and has a load capacity of up to 1150 lbs.

About the Emera Trail
The trail officially opened in September 2011 after Emera New Brunswick donated 27 acres of prime waterfront property to the City of Saint John.  Emera also donated $10,000 for further trail development. Crews from the City’s parks and landscape and neighbourhood improvement services have also provided assistance. Partners cut the trails and established five lookouts that feature breath-taking views overlooking the St. John River and the Reversing Rapids.