In the past it was necessary for volunteers and full-time staff to respond from their homes, where they had to first travel to the station, don their gear, get on a truck and head out to the call. This was the situation between 7 pm to 7 am.
Town council responded to residents’ concerns regarding the increased nighttime response times by working with the HRFD to come up with a way to provide 24 hour service.
This staffing model has been used successfully in other Alberta municipalities. Since going to 24 hour service six weeks ago, there has been a significant reduction in nighttime response times.
Some people in High River wonder why they see the big red fire truck at various businesses around town or travelling without lights and sirens.
The truth is that the fire fighters on this truck have to stick together in order to respond quickly to the next call. What this means is that something as simple as going for lunch or a coffee (which comes out of their own pockets), or picking up supplies for the station requires all members on shift to load up and go.
Something that many of us take for granted has to be coordinated. None of this is wasted; they use this time to stay current in the community, checking on road closures, operating the trucks and staying visible in the town.
These fire fighters respond to medical calls, motor vehicle collisions, bush fires, structure fires, alarm activations or whatever comes up within the town as well as in the MD of Foothills.
When not responding, they also complete fire inspections for local businesses, maintain hydrants, check smoke detectors, respond to public enquiries, attend meetings, training activities and so much more, which means they move together in the big red truck out in the community.
As always the High River Fire Department is active in the community for the good of the community. For answers to any of your questions regarding the fire department please call 403.652.3774.