South Pigeon Lake Fire Rescue coping with busy year

Top call-out is medical response, second is motor vehicle collisions

The South Pigeon Lake Fire Rescue is looking at an increased number of call-outs for 2018, noted Fire Chief Wayne Benson.

Speaking at the fire hall located on Hwy. #13 near the Village at Pigeon Lake Sept. 25, Benson stated the department has 101 calls as of that date, compared to 113 calls in all of 2017 and 125 calls in all of 2016. The fire chief estimates the department will exceed those totals by December 31 of this year.

He noted 2018 did feel busier but in no particular area, “Kind of across the board,” said Benson. Benson said that medical calls have increased, which includes emergencies like heart attacks and injuries, and in a recreational area like Pigeon Lake, injuries can happen on a regular basis.

The number one call-out for the South Pigeon Lake department is medical first response; in a nutshell, if an ambulance isn’t able to respond immediately, the fire rescue heads out. Benson stated MFR requires substantial training and he said the South Pigeon Lake department is proud of their training, which is just below EMR level.

The number two call-out is motor vehicle collisions, and the fire chief said they vary widely in nature. He said the majority of MVCs seem to involve distracted drivers, but the department also handled two calls which appeared to involve marijuana impairment plus a couple of moose collisions. Oddly, Benson noted the department responded to no calls this year which involved alcohol impairment.

South Pigeon Lake, along with nearby Mulhurst Fire Rescue, recently completed both ice and water rescue training, and had to put that training to the test this past year. The department conducted three water rescues and he said he was concerned to see that in some instances, those rescued weren’t wearing life jackets.

As for new equipment, Benson noted the department, just recently, ordered their new side-by-side ATV which is designed to handle bush fires. “We’re trying to nail it before it gets too big,” said Benson. He stated some fires and medical calls can occur in rough, hilly or tree-covered terrain, which are difficult or impossible to access with normal fire trucks.

Benson said the South Pigeon Lake department tries to be as diverse as possible considering the equally diverse terrain they deal with.

He also pointed out the department raised funds for the entire ATV project, which was hosted by local residents Darrell and Bev Bohlender, and very strongly supported by the community which helped raise $27,000, with fundraising ongoing.

The fire chief said the South Pigeon Lake department currently has a waiting list of people who wish to join, and he said it’s kind of nice to see that.

Stu.salkeld@pipestoneflyer.ca

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP investigate possible drowning at Pigeon Lake: Man and woman found dead on shore

Bodies recovered from Pigeon Lake’s northeastern shores.

RCMP investigate possible drowning at Pigeon Lake; Man and woman found dead on shore

Bodies recovered from Pigeon Lake’s northeastern shores.

134 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday

First day over 100 cases since July 31

RCMP Major Crimes Unit lay Manslaughter charge against youth

The RCMP Major Crimes Unit have laid a manslaughter charge against a 13-year-old boy from Maskwacis.

City of Wetaskiwin back to zero active cases

The City of Wetaskiwin currently has zero active cases once again.

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

13-year-old charged in death of boy, 10 in Maskwacis

The RCMP Major Crimes Unit have laid a manslaughter charge against a 13-year-old boy from Maskwacis.

‘Caught up in the frenzy:’ Oilers 50/50 draw breaking ticket sale records

Previous record was held by Toronto Raptors fans when a 50/50 raffle reached $2 million

Alberta jury trials to resume next month at offsite locations due to COVID-19

About 12 locations across Alberta may host the trials in halls, hotels and community centres

Alberta school curriculum to focus on basics, keep out political bias: minister

NDP education critic says the kindergarten to Grade 4 changes should have been implemented a year ago

Statistics Canada says country gained 419,000 jobs in July

National unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July, down from the 12.3 per cent recorded in June

Canada plans $3.6 billion in retaliatory tariffs on U.S. in aluminium dispute

The new Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement that replaced NAFTA went into force on July 1

Walmart to make face masks mandatory for customers across Canada

Requirement goes into effect on Wednesday, Aug. 12 across Canada

Most Read