South Green Lake Volunteer Fire Department members filled this large bladder at the Green Lake Snowmobile Association clubhouse on Aug. 28. This large rubber pool – also known as a pond – holds 2,500 gallons of water, and firefighters draw water from it to fight structure fires. Ken Alexander photo.

South Green Lake VFD members available for service 24 hours a day

Firefighters “fire smart” residences

By Ken Alexander

Following the evacuation order for local residents around midnight on July 29, South Green Lake Volunteer Fire Department (SGLVFD) firefighters returned to full operational status at 2:30 p.m. on Aug. 2, with five members returning to duty after ensuring their families were evacuated safely.

This allowed the SGLVFD to return to duties within its Fire Protection Area.

Over the next few days and to the present day, there are 14 firefighters stationed at the fire hall, SGLVFD fire chief Peter McKie says, adding they are available for service 24 hours a day.

McKie notes firefighters have been patrolling when there is a weather event and assisting the Structural Protection groups when required.

“We are continually meeting with the Office of the Fire Commissioner (OFC) on a daily basis. Under the direction of the OFC, we are tasked to ‘Fire Smart’ all residences within our Fire Protection Area.”

Fire Smart duties include:

Removing all flammable materials on and under sun decks if practical.

Checking for open windows, doors, and attic spaces.

Moving propane cylinders and gas containers away from residences and placing them in a safe place.

Opening locked gates, which necessitated cutting some chains that were locked in place.

Checking and marking locations of all culverts that crossed the roadway. If necessary, they can be used to get hoses to the off-shore side of the road to supply water.

Checking for domestic sprinkler systems, which had been set up by homeowners prior to their departure, and starting these systems to ensure their working status.

“We have observed the RCMP and Conservation Officers continually making security patrols in the area. Even our firefighters – in their private vehicles – have been routinely checked to ensure they have the property security passes.

“The SGLVFD members would like to express our thanks for all of the support and understanding during this event that is causing such concern and stress for all of us.”

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