By Craig White – Fire Chief, Claresholm Fire Department
It is the time of year where we at the Claresholm Fire Department take a look back and reflect on the calls and events of the past 12 months. At the time of writing this message, your Claresholm Fire Department has already responded to over 270 calls, this surpasses our 2021 call total! These responses include: medical first responses as well as co-responses to assist EMS on medical scenes, motor vehicle collisions, wildland and structure fires.
Claresholm Fire is very proud of the training we offer to our members in partnership with the Municipal District of Willow Creek. This past year, there were two classes of the NFPA 1001 Professional Fire Fighter Level Two that completed training in the spring of 2022. The next NFPA 1001 class is scheduled to start in November of 2022.
With medical calls making up a large percentage of our responses, we are thankful to have one Advanced Care Paramedic, three Primary Care Paramedics, and two Emergency Medical Responders as part of our department. All members of the department are also a part of the AHS Medical First Responder Program. As COVID is still a concern, on medical calls, you will still see crews following AHS guidelines regarding masking and other personal protective equipment (PPE)
In August we hosted our annual fundraising golf tournament, and thanks to your generous donations as well as to those that came out to golf, we were able to raise over $12,000 towards our goal of purchasing Electronic Extrication Equipment (Jaws of Life). Members of Claresholm Fire will again be stepping in front of the camera this fall and producing a 2023 Firefighter’s Calendar. Watch for this in mid-to-late November, calendars will be available from any of the members. Funds raised will also go towards the Electronic Extrication Equipment.
Claresholm Fire also welcomed the following members into our fire family: Landon Hatch, Jay Hallett, Andrew Lessard, Brad Toone, and Michael Bernardo. In September, we were able to honour and celebrate our long serving members at our annual awards night. Members recognized include: Former Firefighter Robert Hill with 15 years of service, Former Firefighter Brendon Seefried five years, Firefighter Colton Cleaver five years, Duncan McLean and Justin Billey one year. Our retiring members this past year include: Firefighters: Robert Hill, Brendon Seefried, Bradshaw McClung, and Barbara Livie.
Claresholm Fire would like to express its appreciation to the Town of Claresholm, M.D. of Willow Creek, and all the businesses and residents of our communities for their support. We would also like to commend those local businesses who employ a volunteer firefighter and allow them to leave on a moment’s notice to attend fire calls.
I would also like to take a moment to recognize the other First Responders/Emergency Services that we work with on a regular basis: AHSEMS (Claresholm, Fort MacLeod, Nanton, and Vulcan), Pincher Creek Fire and EMS, RCMP (Claresholm, Nanton, Fort MacLeod), as well as all our Intermunicipal Fire Partners; Nanton, Stavely, Granum and Fort MacLeod.
Claresholm Fire Department – These are the current members of the department. In back from left are Dallas Woodman, deputy chief; Gerald McNair, lieutenant; Scott Fairs; Duncan McLean; Jay Hallett; Grant Ling, captain; Neil Schuler, captain; Landon Hatch; Shayne Leeds, lieutenant; Justin Heitrich; Brad Toone; Danny Egger, captain; Justin Billey; and Dale Lytwyn, lieutenant; while in front from left are Lisa Perry; Chuck Loeffler; Eric Chatterton; Colton Cleaver; Justin Canuel; Craig White, fire chief; Ty Glimsdale; Chad Rathgeber, a/lieutenant; Andrew Lessard; Michael Bernardo; and Scott Besse, lieutenant. Unavailable for photo was George Douros, captain. Photo by Megan McClung