Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Engine 71 - Beaver Mines Fire Brigade's new bush buggy

Toni Lucas

There's a valuable new tool for fire response and rescue efforts in the Beaver Mines area thanks to the efforts of local firefighters. "The Beaver Mines Brigade raised the funds to buy Engine 71" explained Beaver Mines Fire Chief Allen Tapay.  "We got the idea when we had a lighting strike on a fir tree way up on a hill." He said crews had to pack in water, and chainsaws, and other equipment and supplies for about a 1/4 mile. It was that day they decided that an all terrain or  utility task vehicle would be useful piece of equipment for the hall.  "We got this unit for fire, and for rescuing people in the bush and hard to get at places. This is what got the ball rolling."

"In entirety we raised $28,000 roughly for this.  We worked a couple of casinos in Lethbridge."    Additional funding came from working rodeos, bartending at functions, Shell Waterton, Evcon Equipment and private donations.  Tapay said Steve Oczkowski was the primary fundraiser for this endeavour. 

"We call it engine 71.  It's a Utility Task Vehicle (UTV) that has been outfitted for firefighting and rescue.  It can sit two or three people in the cab, and has an area in the back where a person in a basket can be transported.  The firefighting unit on the back holds 70 gallons and has a foam attachment.  The unit was purchased approximately two years ago but it took another year to raise the funds to outfit it fully. According to Tapay the extra outfitting cost an additional $8,000.  He said he he was appreciative of the people and organizations that supported the purchase and the volunteer staff who put so much effort making this a part of the their equipment.

The trailer to haul the unit was purchased by Pincher Creek Emergency Services.  Beaver Mines Fire has raised funds for other items in the past, including backboards and a pediatric board.

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