The Warburg and District Fire Department had another busy year of assisting and aiding the community, noted the head of the department Sept. 15.
In an interview with The Pipestone Flyer, Fire Chief Rick Carstairs said the somewhat changing face of fire emergency services means Warburg volunteer firefighters don’t have firefighting as their main job.
“Main calls? In Warburg we get mostly a lot of medicals,” said Carstairs by phone. He said the Warburg department sees a lot of medical calls and a fair number of motor vehicle collisions, plus spend a bit of time assisting STARS with setting up landing zones.
When asked if it looks like trends of causes to MVCs, Carstairs said, “That’s a good question. If it’s an accident, we treat it like that and deal with it.”
Over the past year Chief Carstairs noted the department handled a three-vehicle MVC at the entrance to Warburg and a couple tank trucks rolling over. “We just go out and do the job and go home and forget about it,” he said. One bit of advice Chief Carstairs had for other motorists who are traveling by a MVC is to please not stop or cause traffic congestion at the collision. Motorists should just follow traffic control and move on, and that would really help the firefighters.
Carstairs said the Warburg department has 24 members, including some new ones, but noted members come and go. While the department recruits new members, people have to go where their employment takes them and in the current economy volunteer work often takes a back seat. “It’s getting hard getting new recruits,” said the chief. “It’s tough.”
Looking at the Warburg department equipment, Chief Carstairs was quite happy as he said the Village of Warburg and Leduc County are excellent at providing equipment. “We have good equipment here,” he said. “The county and the village worked together really well to give us good equipment.”
He said the department received a new mini-pumper about a year and a half ago and in 2017 the 1990 pumper truck is scheduled for replacement, plus equipment to aid in stabilizing those injured in MVCs.
The chief noted training at the Warburg department is ongoing. He said there are 12 members who have FMR certification, which needs to be updated every four years.
Members of the community interested in joining the department should contact either Chief Carstairs or Deputy Chief Dan Duiker or can attend a fire practice held at the hall across from the UFA cardlock every first and third Thursday.
“It’s been a blast,” said Carstairs of his time as a firefighter. “It’s been fun.”