by Jessica Jones
For the Pipestone Flyer
The upward trend of medical emergency call outs for the Mulhurst Bay Fire Department continued to increase during the 2018-2019 season.
The Mulhurst Bay Fire Department, which provides fire services to residents in the northeast area of the Pigeon Lake Fire Protection Area, responded to 98 calls during the 2018-2019 season, with more than half relating to medical first response, explained Mulhurst Bay Fire Chief John Skinner.
“This is mainly what we do now because a lot of the time we get there before the ambulance,” he said.
“We are better trained now than years ago and update our first-aid training every year,” Skinner added, who has been chief of the 18-member volunteer fire department for a little over a year now.
The volunteer base of 12 full-time members and six part-time members all have ice and water rescue training — something Skinner says is needed for the department that responds to Pigeon Lake calls and rescues. This summer alone, the department was called three times for water rescues on Pigeon Lake, and the chief thinks that number will only increase.
“The amount the area is being used; it’s a traffic jam out there on the long weekend,” he said, noting that all three rescues were successful.
With the high-traffic in and around Pigeon Lake, Skinner explained that they are rooting for another rescue boat that is able to access the other side of the lake and able to maneuver around waves that can reach up to five-feet high. Right now they are utilizing a sea-doo watercraft but that’s just not effective equipment for a rescue, Skinner said. He says a request for another boat, through the ice and water rescue fund, has been put to the county for approval.
The fire chief further noted that the department could use a couple more volunteers, ideally firefighters in their mid 30s.
“We are always looking for more volunteers,” Skinner said. “About 12 members show up regularly and four of them are over 70 so we have an aging volunteer base,” he said.
“If you’d like to get a good experience, join, please. It’s a great life skill and a lot of training that you can use anywhere,” Skinner said.
The Mulhurst Bay Fire Department is located at the four-way stop on secondary Hwy 616.