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Fire Department Spotlight: North York Fire Department


Justin McGuigan is proud of his 17-member crew at the North York Fire Department in New Brunswick. “We’re very fortunate to have such a diverse crew of men, women, and juniors,” he observes. “We have paramedics, heavy equipment contractors, and professional folks like me who work in the office.”

McGuigan joined the department at the age of 17 at the behest of his now father-in-law. He’s been with the station for 27 years and acting as chief for 20.

When asked to name a favorite memory at the station, McGuigan replied that there were so many. “Every season over the past 27 years has been different,” he notes. “There are a few highlights for me as an individual, like the fact that all the junior members grew up together.”

The North York Fire Department is located in Millville, a former village in York County, New Brunswick. The area held village status prior to 2023 and is now part of the rural community of Nackawic-Millville. The site is best known for its farming and forestry industries.

The entire region has three fire departments, with the North York station situated in Millville proper. “We cover a substantial area for one station,” McGuigan notes. “We’re very fortunate to have a solid team.”

According to McGuigan, the crew’s response area comprises industrial, commercial, and farming territories. Another area under the station’s umbrella is Crabbe Mountain, an alpine ski hill in Central Hainesville, New Brunswick. Unlike Millville, which has the traditional, old-town atmosphere, Crabbe Mountain constantly introduces new infrastructure with modernized construction.

One of the biggest challenges the firefighters of North York face is access to water, particularly in the Crabbe Mountain area. “The water situation fluctuates with the seasons,” he says. “Though it has proven to be a challenge, we’ve been fortunate enough to find water sources without traveling too far,” he says.

Another hurdle with which the crew contends is their significant response area. “One of the areas we cover is Springfield, which is at least 15 minutes away,” McGuigan explains. “For us, early notification is critical.”

The fully equipped department houses a 4-door engine and tanker, constructed by Metalfab, and a 4-wheel drive pickup truck that serves as a rapid response unit.

The firehouse itself is a new structure. “In 2014, our station was destroyed by an act of arson,” McGuigan explains. “So, it had to be completely rebuilt. To this day, they don’t know how or why it was started.”

Construction of the new building took two “arduous” years. “I’m very thankful that we had the entire community’s support during that time,” he says.

According to McGuigan, a big problem within the department is the recruitment and retention of the all-volunteer crew. “It’s tough to compete for people’s time these days,” McGuigan says. “I say to our residents, ‘If you value our presence, then you need to come in and support the team.’ We must maintain a safe level of operations—for us and the community.”

McGuigan says he is grateful to have the partnership of Metalfab to construct safe and reliable apparatus. “Metalfab has been great,” he says. “They always listen to our needs and provide reasonable solutions to our challenges. We are very happy to have their support.”

For more information about adding to your firehouse gear, contact our Business Development Manager, Ryan Stacey, at or by phone at 1-800-561-0012 extension 24.