Grouard: firefighters welcome long-awaited gear

The Grouard Fire District: left-right, are deputy fire chief Herman Sutherland Sr., assistant deputy fire chief Herman Sutherland Jr., Russell Cardinal, Rod Sutherland, Kevin Auger, David Anderson and Capt. and training officer Darcy Halcrow. Missing in the photo are Norma Auger, Clay Sutherland, Bobby Auger, Conrad Cardinal Joe Legrande, James Cardinal and junior firefighter Rudy Chalifoux.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Grouard Fire District has had another slow year for calls.

“We have responded to about 10 calls this year,” says deputy fire chief Herman Sutherland Sr.

It included one building fire, and two calls each to vehicle rollovers and vehicle fires.

One rollover in July on Highway 750 claimed the life of a male victim, Sutherland says.

Grouard firefighters quickly extinguished a fire in a barn in Salt Prairie where part of the structure was destroyed, he says.

The number of calls remains about the same from the past two years, but down considerably from the past.

“Some years, we get 20-30 calls,” Sutherland says.

Besides serious calls, the crew responded to six false alarms.

“Still, you have to answer those calls,” says Sutherland.

Firefighters welcome new gear and credit new Big Lakes County fire chief John McDermott.

“It’s the first time in about 35 years that Grouard has new gear,” says Sutherland, who has been a firefighter since 1983.

The fire crew also helped with controlled wildland fires in the spring led by Agriculture and Forestry.

Grouard currently has a fire team of about 14 members and is always open for more.

“They’re always there when we need them,” Sutherland says.

“We have about seven to eight on training nights, but 13-14 when we get the calls.”

The fire crew practises the second and third Monday night of each month at 7 p.m.

“We’re always open for more volunteers,” Sutherland says.

“It’s very hard to get volunteers in today’s generation and all fire departments and other organizations have trouble recruiting volun- teers.”

Younger people are also welcome to join as junior firefighters for ages 15-18 and train with the regular firefighters.

For more information, phone Sutherland at [1-780] 655-4916.


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