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The Municipality of Cumberland is recognizing the work of its volunteer fire departments during last fall’s post-tropical storm Fiona with a one-time payment of $5,000 each.

The storm rolled through Cumberland County, and most of Nova Scotia, overnight on Sept. 23 with the wind and rain levelling large swaths of forestland throughout the county, knocking over utility poles and downing power lines.

Most of Cumberland County was without electricity following the storm with some locations having to go without electricity for extended periods of time.

Cumberland County's 16 fire departments responded to the challenge by establishing comfort centres that allowed people to stay warm, charge their electronic devices, get a cup of coffee or tea and socialize with neighbours.

During the storm, the province’s 911 emergency system was down temporarily. Fire departments stayed open as a location for people to go to report an emergency.

Volunteers, including those from the county’s rural fire departments, also conducted wellness checks when needed, delivered fuel and generators for EMO and provided updates on conditions around the county.

While some fire departments submitted invoices for expenses, most did not.

The municipality wants to be inclusive of any claim of compensation and to treat all departments equally. The total cost of the initiative will be $80,000. The funding will come from general reserves.