Lourdes Mayor defends fire department not attending Friday fire

Frank Gale
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Mayor Henry Gaudon of Lourdes said he wishes the fire department in his town had the ability to protect every home in the area not protected by another fire department.

But he said the residents of his town can’t be expected to subsidize a free fire service to a community that asked to have the service stopped.

Gaudon was referencing a fire on Friday that destroyed a home at Piccadilly Head, when Lourdes Fire Department would not respond because that particular property is not paying for fire coverage. Lourdes Fire Department provides fire coverage to their town and the communities of Mainland, Three Rock Cove and West Bay.

He said the fire department used to provide coverage to Piccadilly Head, but in 2011 the Local Service District notified the Town of Lourdes they no longer wanted the fire coverage.

“If you live in a Local Service District where the governing body says they don’t want the coverage, then you simply don’t provide it,” Gaudon said.

He said the Lourdes Fire Department does provide coverage to 13 homes in Piccadilly Head to individuals that came to the Town of Lourdes wanting fire coverage for their properties. He said these individuals pay $100 a year for the coverage and the fire department will respond to fires at these locations.

Gaudon explained that it comes down to a liability issue because if the fire department was out fighting a fire at a “freebie” (a  property that had not paid for coverage) and a call came for a fire in their coverage area at the same time, then there could be a huge lawsuit if the department did not respond.

“Once the hose comes off the truck, the fire department is liable to stay at that first fire,” he said.

Gaudon also said it wouldn’t be fair to those who are paying for the fire service for the department to go to a fire at a property that is not paying.

“With that said there were eight firefighters who showed up when the call came in on Friday and were biting at the bit to go and I was the one who made the decision for them not to. I’m the one who has to wear it if something goes wrong,” he said.

Organizations: Lourdes Fire Department, Local Service District

Geographic location: Lourdes, West Bay

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Recent comments

  • Tony
    May 28, 2014 - 14:34

    You think if anyone died in the fire that he would still be saying it was his call? i don't think so!

  • Sheila Tourout-Dickman
    May 28, 2014 - 00:55

    Hmmm! I guess it all still comes down to the almighty dollar. So sad for the people and their properties.

  • ben
    May 27, 2014 - 20:33

    It is time for government to have these local service areas pay for services. Why should we pay for them. Who do they think that they are and what makes them special? Good for you Mayor Gaudon..

  • ben
    May 27, 2014 - 20:31

    It is time for government to have these local service areas pay for services. Why should we pay for them. Who do they think that they are and what makes them special? Good for you Mayor Gaudon..

  • Christine Nussey
    May 27, 2014 - 19:43

    Because lives may be placed at risk, I would send the fire department regardless of the dues being paid and then charge them retroactively. Place a clause stating that those who neglect their fees or communities who choose not to participate will be charged a higher fee when the department is required to take action. The department remains liable and responsible for the lives in the region they were designated to serve and can find themselves sued for neglecting to attend.

  • Audrey Benoit
    May 27, 2014 - 16:44

    That's bullshit!!! So you're saying that if you live in Piccadilly you are not allowed to use the services of another area weather its life or death that's just like telling a patient they cannot see the attending physician in Lourdes because they live in Piccadilly. Were the people of Piccadilly informed about the Local District not wanting these services. So does this include your ambulance service as well? If it does I sure hope the god that these people are well informed.

    • Nancy Jesso
      May 29, 2014 - 22:40

      Well I'm the owner of the property that was destroy on Friday, I don't want any freebies. If I would have known about this service provide by Lourdes I would of PAID $100 for this service. My husband and I both work out of the province, maybe this service was provided to our community when we were away. Unfortunately we didn't know about it. I totally understand the situation and don't blame anyone. We were informed at our last meeting they cancelled the fire truck service because the majority of the community didn't want this service. We as a resident of Piccadilly wanted the service, unfortually it was our property that was destroyed. As for the future I will PAY this service to Lourdes!!! The media makes it sound like I didn't pay my bill, this is redicious!!