Since making their voices heard in the spring, the concerned citizens' committee for Milton-George's Brook can rest easy knowing their community is once again equipped with fire services.
Manuel Ellis, vice chair of the concerned citizens' committee, said he is confident the fire department is functioning as it should.
"We're really pleased that it's moving ahead. There's a good bunch there running it now and it seems like they have lots of new members. For us, we're there if they need our help, but it seems to me they're moving ahead fine."
The concerned citizens' committee banded together earlier this year over the lack of fire services in Milton-George's Brook.
Ellis, along with Rodger Hodder and Wilson Chaulk, formed a task force to reinstate the services.
At the time, the local service district (LSD) was receiving services from Clarenville after its own fire department shut down in 2011 due to lack of membership.
In January, of this year, Clarenville provided a list of demands to extend the service full-time.
Clarenville requested the LSD meet four conditions: an annual fee of $140 per household; purchase by the LSD of a 2,000-gallon tanker truck; updated street signs and numbers and, finally, an updated street map of the communities.
The cut off date was set for Feb 29, should the LSD choose another route.
At the time, the committee couldn't make an informed decision in roughly five weeks, and needed more time to explore its options, said Geoff Adams, LSD chair for Milton-George's Brook.
A letter was sent to Clarenville council requesting an extension, but it was six days after the deadline before the service was reinstated.
With Clarenville not an option, and no fire service in place, Adams said the LSD would have been listed as a designated unprotected community; meaning house insurance would go through the roof.
As a result it was decided to reinstate the fire department.
"This is the best option, but we need the people to help us make this work," he said in an interview earlier this year.
Adams said it was recommended a minimum of 30 volunteers would create a solid base to run the department.
The concerned citizens' committee played a large role in bringing fire services back to the area by getting the word out that services were needed and going door to door to recruit members.
The purpose of the committee was fulfilled, said Ellis.
"All we did is just voiced our opinion."
Ellis said the committee will continue to monitor fire, water and garbage to ensure residents have access to such services in the Milton-George's Brook area.
"I guess we'll always be concerned. We have been concerned for a good many years and we're just there to help if we can."
Currently, the fire department is in the market for a new fire truck. According to Ellis it's a process of applying for one and then coming up with the money and looking at possible funding through the government.
"I'm sure if we could meet the demands for the money to get the truck, then I'm sure that the government would... help us out."
I think the Milton-George's Brook fire department can survive, but we all need to work together - Manuel Ellis, co-chair of the people's action cmomittee
However, it may be a slow process.
"I know if they applied for a fire truck tomorrow they ain't gonna get it any time soon," said Ellis.
"If they need a new truck, they should start applying now, and if it takes a year or two, so be it."
Still, it's a worthwhile investment for the community, said Ellis.
"Milton-George's Brook is growing, same as Clarenville is, and at the end of the day we are going to need a new truck."
The department won't be without its share of hiccups in the coming years, added Ellis.
"There are going to be issues, we know that. Nothing's going to work without issues. If you're dealing with government you're going to have issues - lots of them."
But he has faith it will succeed.
"I think the Milton-George's Brook fire department can survive, but we all need to work together."
In the meantime, Ellis said the concerned citizens' committee is happy to leave the fire department to do its job. If, in the future, they come to the committee with a problem, Ellis said he doesn't mind voicing his opinion again.
"Squeaky wheel gets the grease," he said.
Adams also said he was pleased with the final outcome.
"Things are going along quite nicely by the sounds of it."
He said a full contingent of volunteer firefighters is on hand - about 23 or 24 - and they hold regular training sessions on Thursday nights.
As well, the department is taking part in a new venture. Beginning the third Thursday of September (20), the department started implementing community education sessions surrounding fire safety, including household awareness like how to use fire extinguishers, checking the batteries in fire alarms, and making people more aware of what to keep an eye on in their homes, said Adams.
As far as for a new truck, Adams said the department is on the hunt for a second-hand one as a brand new one would not be economically feasible for the small community.
"Our fire truck is still useable the way it is now but we're still looking for a better situation than we have."
Furthermore, with so many other municipalities in the province looking for a new truck, it would be easier to look for something second-hand and in better condition than what they already have, said Adams.
"The number was given to me by the fire commissioner at the time. He said there are about 70 communities here on the island looking for new trucks, and we would just be added to that list. So, we would have a better chance of getting something that was second-hand then having to wait for a brand new one with funding."
The fire department is also in need of a new equipment truck, said Adams.
"That's another priority for us, of course. The one that we have now doesn't work at all."
Milton-George's Brook fire chief Shawn Vokey could not be reached for comment before deadline.