Beiseker Fire Department stops reporting to training in Irricana
By: Thomas Miller
| Posted: Monday, Mar 04, 2013 11:28 am
The Beiseker Fire Department will no longer be training with the Irricana Fire Department.
In the Beiseker council meeting on Feb. 25, Councillor Warren Wise presented a report from the Beiseker Fire Department stating the firefighters had decided to stop training in Irricana for reasons they will not release.
“That’s really their choice, they’re not employees, they’re just volunteer firefighters, so we cannot say you have to do this or we could potentially lose them all,” said Wise.
“The decision has been made by our firefighters at this point in time that we will stand on our own for this period of time.”
Beiseker Fire Chief Bob Ursu says the department is focusing on advanced medical response for its training at the moment, including vehicle extrication and back-boarding.
“We respond to fires and medical (calls) in Beiseker and we (call) out whichever department is the closest if we need a hand,” said Ursu.
The Beiseker Fire Department was training in Irricana, which is part of Rocky View Fire Services, because the County would like to incorporate Beiseker within its fire department, according to Wise.
“We are having meetings with Rocky View to try to resolve this issue to see where can we go,” said Wise.
Rocky View Fire Services declined comment due to ongoing arbitration with the fire union.
Unfortunately, standing on their own leaves the fire department in a difficult position, added Wise.
“We don’t have a firetruck that is certifiable so that leaves us between a rock and a hard place in a way,” said Wise.
“Our current firetruck is very old. It was a 1970 model. It has a couple of issues, one is with the pump on it and the other issue is that it cannot, by today’s codes, carry the people on the back of it as the modern firetrucks do. It’s capable of it but not in a way that meets the standards.”
As a result, the Beiseker Fire Department is now pursuing corporate donations towards the purchase of a new firetruck and the Village is looking into grants that could help with the purchase.
“We have been looking at (it) for quite some time, we would like to upgrade our firetruck. The problem is the cost of it, the Village can’t afford it, so we’re looking at alternate ways to try to obtain a better truck, one that’s more suitable for what we’re looking for,” explained Wise.
For more information or to donate money towards purchasing a new firetruck, call Ursu at 403-947-3275.