It’s a long drive from Oakville, Ontario, to Hannibal, Mo. It’s not a cheap trip either as Tim Carter, chief of the Hannibal Fire Department, has discovered.


It’s a long drive from Oakville, Ontario, to Hannibal, Mo. It’s not a cheap trip either as Tim Carter, chief of the Hannibal Fire Department, has discovered.
The Canadian city, which is approximately a one-hour drive from the U.S. border, is where a new live fire trainer was built over the past few months that Hannibal and a number of other fire departments in the region will be using in the future. Now that the trainer’s construction is complete comes the real challenge - getting it from Oakville to Hannibal.
“To bring it all the way down to Hannibal the manufacturer was going to charge us $5,000,” said Carter. “We looked at doing it ourselves and then we thought that’s going to be a pain going across the (Canadian/U.S.) border. We’ve hired a hauler to go up and pick it up for $2,000, so we’ve saved $500.”
The trainer is due to arrive in Hannibal on Tuesday, Nov. 3. A week later representatives of the manufacturer, Pro-Safe Fire Training Systems, Inc., will be in town.
“They’ll go over the trailer with us and provide us with some training as far as how to operate it,” said Carter. “We’ve got to get all our instructors trained on how to operate it. We’ve also got people from Moberly, Kirksville and different ones in the region coming down to train on how to operate it for training and how to do it safely.”
According to Carter, the advantages of having the trainer available are numerous.
“It will give us the opportunity to actually plan out live fire training without the contingency of finding a house (to burn), blocking off streets, having to worry about the water supply, having to worry about how much smoke we’re going to put out and if it will interfere with the neighbors, and dealing with all those (environmental) issues associated with burning down a condemned house,” he said. “The safety factor alone is the big benefit of this trailer. We’re excited.”
The cost of the new trainer is $327,500, which does not include the cost of transporting it to Hannibal. Of that amount, $255,000 will be funded through an “Assistance to Firefighters Regional Grant.” The HFD budgeted $65,000 for the purchase of the trainer. To date, area fire departments and businesses have pledged another $39,940, $35,940 of which has been collected.
Carter has been told that another $5,000 to $7,000 may be coming from Moberly.
“That’s even going to help us more,” said the chief. “If that pans out we’re going to be looking at $27,000 or $28,000, instead of the $65,000 we budgeted.”