The Calmar Fire Department had a very busy 2015-16 season according to the department chief, as they coped with a rash of serious structure fires.
Calmar Fire Chief David Brooks said in an interview with the Pipestone Flyer Sept. 20 that the number one call-out the department has responded to over the past year was structure fires.
“The first half of the year we saw a number of structure fires,” said Brooks by phone from his office.
Brooks said the Calmar Fire Department together with Leduc County and the RCMP are working together investigating these structure fires. The fire chief stated that some of the structure fires are considered suspicious.
He also said the dry spring increased the number of grass and brush fires the department had to respond. He said this wasn’t just in Calmar area, but all over the region.
Fire Chief Brooks noted Leduc County and the Town of Calmar have been discussing regionalizing fire and emergency services. The discussions have been ongoing for some time and regionalization in emergency services is happening across the country. “It is very common,” said Brooks.
Brooks said there are a number of benefits to regionalization such as cost savings, training opportunities, cooperation, standardization and many more. He said negotiations are ongoing.
The Calmar Fire Department is also rolling out its fire prevention program to local schools and, with winter coming, preparing for the inevitable vehicles accidents that occur.
It’s been a quiet year for equipment. The fire chief said 2015 was a busy year for equipment replacement, leaving 2016 quiet.
The training schedule has also been uneventful. While regular training remains important, Brooks said no unusual training was done. He noted about 75 per cent of the department have the MFR training for medical response, one of the most important certifications modern firefighters require.
Brooks said the Calmar department is well staffed, with 28 members right now. He said the roster has seen some minor fluctuations, but mostly has been consistent.
However, Brooks said if local readers are interested in joining the fire department, he won’t turn interested people away. “We’ll find room for them,” he said. The best approach for those interested is to drop by the Town of Calmar office and pick up an application, or drop by the fire hall Tuesday nights after 7 p.m.