Iqaluit Fire Service

Wayne Rivers, aptn National News

It isn’t just fire fighters in First Nations communities that are challenged to do their jobs.

In the north departments are challenged with a different kind of isloation.

Iqaluit Fire Department: 

Nunavut’s largest fire department faces poor training, low funding and frigid temperatures.

Lt. Sharon MacDonald is with the service;

“we only have 2 trucks and we have not other departments that we can call upon. Communities down south can call on neighbouring fire departments if they need, here we don’t have that.”

And if the limited equipment the department does have breaks down, it could be weeks before new parts arrive.

“if your fire truck is down or your ambulance is down you’re in a lot of trouble.

MacDonald says another area of concern is Nunavut’s chronic over crowding in homes across the area.

“if you have 10 to 15 people you have to account for it’s very difficult to know for sure if everyone is out so then we’re sending our firefighters in not only to attack the fire but to do a search for the missing people and that puts our firefighters lives a little more in danger.”

MacDonald says the best plan is to educate people on how to prevent fires from starting.

Online Producer / Ottawa

Before moving to become the APTN News social media producer, Mark was the executive producer for the news in eastern Canada. Before starting with APTN in 2009, Mark worked at CBC Radio and Television in Newfoundland and Labrador and Ottawa.