It has been an atypical year for the Mulhurst Bay Fire Department following an increase in the number medical emergency call outs the department has received.
The Mulhurst Bay Fire Department, which provides fire services to residents in the northeast area of the Pigeon Lake Fire Protection Area, responded to 45 calls year-to-date. More than half were calls related to medical first response, explained Mulhurst Bay Fire Chief Wayne McDonald.
The increase to medical first response calls differs from previous years where the number one call out for the department was in relation to false alarms, mentioned McDonald. The fire chief noted that some of the medical emergencies they responded to were of people experiencing chest pains, diabetic attacks, bee stings and dog bites.
“If the ambulance is more than 10 minutes out, we can sometimes get to the emergency before them,” McDonald said.
“Thankfully most of the calls haven’t been super serious, but some of them have been,” he said.
Another change for the 22-member department was the introduction of water and ice rescue training on Pigeon Lake. The training couldn’t have come at a better time, after seven young people in three canoes encountered a dangerous storm on the water earlier in the summer, explained McDonald.
“These were the biggest waves we’ve seen all summer,” he said.
“We took out a boat to bring them all back in … I didn’t think we’re going to get them all. It is good when things end up positive,” he added.
With the addition of some valuable training, the department will also be the recipients of another rescue vehicle that they will receive in the coming weeks to replace the current one which is quite outdated, inefficient and in “rough shape,” McDonald said.
“The new rescue vehicle will give us more options to transport people and features a telescopic light that can turn 180 degrees so it will give us the ability to light up a scene much more efficiently,” he said.
The fire chief noted that the department could use a couple more volunteers, ideally firefighters in their mid 30s.
“Whatever (time) they can give us, we will take,” he said.
McDonald also wanted to thank residents for their ongoing support of the department while also being sure to remind everyone that October is smoke detector month.
“Check the batteries,” he said.
The fire department is located at the four-way stop on Secondary Highway 616.
-By Jessica Jones, For the Pipestone Flyer