“I personally think it’s a testament to the department the fact that we continue to handle this number of calls working within our resources and the requirement for the members to have such a wide variety of experience,” says Taylor Fire Chief Alan Stebbing.
As the fire department is often the first on the scene of an emergency, Stebbing explains its volunteers has to be well-versed in everything from medical and basic firefighting to rope rescue, auto extrication and hazmat.
Among the notable responses last year were a string of wildfires along the CN Rail tracks, the rescue of a man injured in a boating accident, and several serious vehicle incidents on the South Taylor Hill. There were also seven calls during the Canada Day weekend alone.
“Thankfully we haven’t had any major notable structural fires,” Stebbing says. “We had a relatively light grass fire season because of course it was so wet, but we’ve had a couple of pretty serious MVIs south of Taylor.”
When not responding to calls, the fire department was busy with extra training in 2013, including two practice structure fires with donated buildings, and training on fire pumps. Firefighters also visited the school multiple times to teach classes about fire prevention, and held community events like the Mother’s Day pancake breakfast.
There are currently 21 members of the fire department, including two junior members, but Stebbing hopes to have it even bigger in 2014.
“We have a great group of dedicated firefighters now, but we’re always looking to add more depth,” says Stebbing. “I’d like to see a number of 25 plus members.”
The volunteers practice Wednesday evenings at the fire hall, and anyone interested in learning more can contact the Taylor District Office at 250-789-3392.