South Green Lake volunteer firefighter Zak Motala, left, had his Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) mask tested for a tight fit by training officer Del Westfall. Westfall applied smoke around Motala’s SCBA mask to make sure it wasn’t leaking while he was breathing. Ken Alexander photo.

South Green Lake Volunteer Fire Department off to good start

Ken Alexander’s regular correspondence for the South Green Lake area

2019 got off to a great start for the South Green Lake Volunteer Fire Department (SGLVFD) thanks to the ongoing hard work of Fire Chief Peter McKie and the other officers and firefighters.

The recently purchased water supply truck officially went into service on Feb. 9.

The 2006 apparatus holds 2,000 U.S. gallons of water, and it can also pump water.

It has 650 gallons per minute pumping capability, McKie explains.

“We’d use it for pumping if it was too cold to put the pond (large bladder that holds water) down on the ground.”

As far as the SGLVFD fleet goes, McKie says the department should be in good shape until 2035.

“We’ve replaced four trucks in two years, so it’s been a lot of work.”

More dry hydrants

The chief adds the SGLVFD has installed another set of dry hydrants, but they are waiting until early spring to get them accredited and receive a Fire Underwriters Survey (FUS) upgrade status.

This would help to lower insurance for properties within 300 metres of the dry hydrants.

The new dry hydrants are at Access roads #1 and #14.

The SGLVFD now has four dry hydrants, including the two that were previously installed at Access roads #5 and #10.

Two more hydrants are scheduled to be installed this fall, McKie says, adding the locations are yet to be determined.

“There are some access roads – #4, #6 and #9 – we can’t use because they are either blocked or they are too steep.”

The long-term goal is to place dry hydrants at every second or third access road, and then go for accreditation on a large-diameter hose lay, he explains.

“This will ultimately give every property a 3A FUS rating. It will help decrease the homeowners’ fire insurance premiums.”

McKie says the SGLVFD plans to install and get FUS certification for two dry hydrants a year until 2023.

“Then everyone will be covered [for lower insurance].”

Ongoing training

Training is ongoing for the firefighters with practices being held twice a month.

Three firefighters have volunteered to take officer training, so they can become captains.

“We have them taking Fire Officer 1 training and they have completed about 12 hours so far – about one-third of the way through the modules.”

Breath of fresh air

The SGLVFD is in the process of acquiring a Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) filling station.

Until now, the local department’s SCBA tanks have been filled by the Watch Lake-North Green Lake Volunteer Fire Department.

McKie says the SGLVFD will now be able to help the 70 Mile House and Loon Lake volunteer fire departments fill their air tanks.

“[The filling station] will also allow [the local firefighters] to train more on the SCBA equipment.”

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