Gift Lake: prevention part of ongoing efforts

The Gift Lake Metis Settlement Volunteer Fire Department: left-right, are Warren Shaw, public relations officer Ken Shaw, Capt. Joe Badger, deputy fire chief Howard Shaw, fire chief Gordon Belcourt and Brenda Auger. Missing are Chris Gladue and Kole Shaw.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

The Gift Lake Metis Settlement Volunteer Fire Department has had a quiet year for fire calls and other responses.

“We haven’t had many calls; it’s been a slow year,” says fire chief Gordon Belcourt.

The Gift Lake department has not been called on for any structure fires, he says.

Two quad rollovers in the summer kept fire crews busy.

Volunteers assisted STARS to land at Charlie’s Store in Gift Lake on July 31, Belcourt says.

“We helped put up flares so STARS could land,” he says.

Fire crews responded to another quad rollover by the Gift Lake Community Hall. A man was taken to hospital by EMS ambulance.

“We had to protect the scene,” Belcourt says.

To make it easier for firefighters to promptly respond to emergency calls, he advises callers to give fuller information.

“When you phone 911, please give a location of the incident and the name of resident or homeowner,” Belcourt says.

With the area heavily forested, the fire department continues to participate in the Fire Smart program.

The fire department also promotes fire safety at community events and at Gift Lake School

Always prepared for the call, the department continues to recruit.

“We’re always looking for new members,” Belcourt says.

“Currently, we have eight firefighters and 10 would be good.

“Sometimes, only three of us respond to a call, and it’s hard on us.”

Training and practice sessions are held the second Tuesday of each month at the fire hall at 7 p.m.

When special equipment is required to extract a victim in a vehicle from a crash, the High Prairie Volunteer Fire Department is called to the scene.

To volunteer, phone Belcourt at [780] 536-6122.


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