Local members of the 70 Mile House Volunteer Fire Department show off their new pumper, tender and turnout gear in front of their fire hall. The local Firefighters Association is following through on its promise to get the fire department up-to-date and prepared for certification. (Ken Alexander - 100 Mile Free Press contributor)

Local members of the 70 Mile House Volunteer Fire Department show off their new pumper, tender and turnout gear in front of their fire hall. The local Firefighters Association is following through on its promise to get the fire department up-to-date and prepared for certification. (Ken Alexander - 100 Mile Free Press contributor)

New well, pumper, tender at 70 Mile House VFD

Ken Alexander’s regular correspondence for the 70 Mile area

Hello.

I’m Ken Alexander and I am the new 70 Mile House correspondent for the 100 Mile House Free Press.

First of all, many thanks go to Vic Popiel for reporting the 70 Mile House news for many years and he even continued for a number of years after he moved away from community.

I look forward to writing this column.

New well

The 70 Mile House Volunteer Firefighters Association (70MHVFA) has been working hard to make improvements to the 70 Mile House Volunteer Fire Department (70MHVFD) and it’s going great.

70MHVFA president Dennis Huber says the fire department was having water issues. “It was taking 45 minutes to an hour to fill the tender….”

Huber says they had been applying for funds to drill a new well that would give them a sufficient water supply for three years.

As a result of the 2017 wildfires, he adds, the application they put in to the AgriSpirit Fund from Farm Credit Canada in 2018 was approved for the maximum grant of $25,000.

“The well cost around $40,000, so we had to come up with $15,000 out of general revenue.”

Noting the 70MHVFA had rented out some equipment at Chasm for quite a while, he says they came out of that with a “reasonable chunk of money.”

The association used some of the money for the well and the new fire truck.

The well pumps 400 gallons a minute and can fill their 2,000-gallon tender in 10 minutes, Huber explains.

“It’s a [great] improvement and the water volume is sustainable for a long period of time. This past spring, we put five loads on each truck and they were passing each other along our driveway and we never had a water issue at all.”

New pumper

Huber says they got a lead for purchasing a pumper from the Township of Langley.

Former fire chief Lee Lundy made the deal, and he and Huber brought it back to 70 Mile House on March 28.

However, it was parked in storage for a while because it was too tall to get into the fire hall, but that problem has since been solved.

The old trucks were four-passenger with two of the seats outside, but the new pumper has six seats in the heated cab. Five of the six seats have SCBA hookups.

The new pumper, which is certifiable for 10 years, holds 1,500 gallons of water.

New tender

They also have a 2008 tender, which will be certifiable for 20 years, that they outfitted themselves.

It had a van body on it, which was removed, and now serves as an extra storage area. The new deck was constructed in 100 Mile House.

They purchased the 2,000-gallon tank and all the attachments and had it on the road for less than $30,000, Huber explains.

We spent a lot of money to get everything up to date, but we’re in the best shape for [vehicles] that we have ever been, Huber says, adding they also received grants from the Rotary and Lions clubs, and two grants from Cariboo Strong.

“We went on the tax roll with the community. We made a commitment to them that we would get our fire hall up to where it would pass certification.

“Now that we have the equipment there to do it, we just have to get up-to-date with the Playbook training and away we go.”

Community Club news

The 70 Mile Community Club is hosting a potluck Community Dinner at the 70 Mile House Community Hall on Dec. 7.

The event is open to the public and doors open at 5 p.m. The dinner begins at 6 p.m., and tickets are available at 70 Mile General Store.

The Community Club will provide the ham and scalloped potatoes, club treasurer Miriam Livingston says, adding guests are asked to provide a potluck dish.

She adds club memberships, which will run from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2020 will be available for $25 at the dinner.

Livingston notes the club had a successful Craft Fair at the community hall on Nov. 16.

There were 19 vendor tables featuring baked goods, jewelry and many crafts.

“People were coming in all day and the vendors said they were very happy with the turnout.”

Mobile Library

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District Mobile Library will be coming to town.

It will be parked at the 70 Mile General Store on Dec. 20 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Let them know

I encourage residents and groups having special events or birthdays or anniversaries to contact me at least two weeks prior to them happening, so I can get them into the column.

I can be reached at home at 250-456-7496, cell at 1-250-319-8085, or e-mail at top_drawer@shaw.ca.