Having enough water to put out rural fires just became less of a problem for Buckland’s volunteer firefighters.
© Herald photo by Matt Gardner
Buckland Fire Chief Jim Miller, left, shakes hands with Jay’s Moving & Storage owner Dennis Doehl after being handed the keys to a new semi-trailer truck donated by Jay’s that will be used for hauling water to fires.
Jay’s Moving & Storage recently donated a semi-trailer truck to Buckland Fire & Rescue that was converted into a water-storage vehicle. The truck will be used to provide easier access to water when crews arrive at the scene of a fire.
The key link between the two organizations is George Shand, who is the Prince Albert branch manager for Jay’s Moving & Storage as well as a captain at Buckland Fire & Rescue.
“When we get on some of these large-scale calls, there’s always a huge need for large volumes of water in pretty short order,” Shand said. “I’d seen the need, and maybe the ability for the company to participate in that.”
The owner of Jay’s Moving & Storage, Dennis Doehl, said Shand talked him into the donation and he was glad the man had done so.
“George is our manager up here and he approached (me),” Doehl said. “We do things for (the) community and we’re very happy to volunteer for it … George was talking to our president and asked if we had something to donate … The truck is still (in) good working order, safetied and the whole thing.”
The significance of the truck lies not only in the larger volume of water it will allow Buckland firefighters to transport, but in the added safety it provides.
Although the official announcement was made on Thursday, the new vehicle has already seen plenty of action, including one large-scale fire at a wrecking yard.
“We’ve used it a couple of times,” Shand said. “Most recently we had a fire (where) there were 50-60 cars involved. The roof-mount guns on our big engines need a huge surplus of water, and this is the only truck really that we could supply that kind of quantity with.”
The roof-mount guns on our big engines need a huge surplus of water, and this is the only truck really that we could supply that kind of quantity with. George Shand
Buckland fire chief Jim Miller noted that the converted vehicle had already been equipped with all the necessary bells and whistles.
“One of the things you have is the safety,” he said. “So you have all the lights, and the light bars, and the sirens, P25 radio, and we have a compartment on it that has different pumps and (a) fire hose and things like that.”
Buckland’s volunteer firefighters are not paid for maintenance, training, exercises and fundraising, although they do receive $20 per hour when out on a call.
The department offers membership through shares to the local community at $30. Residents who are members pay an annual levy of $100 per year. Miller estimated that two-thirds of Buckland residents are members.
Additional funding comes from calls made by non-members, who pay $500 an hour per unit, as well as the department’s fundraising committee. But Miller made clear that the hall could never have afforded the new truck without the donation by Jay’s.
“Our theme this year is teamwork, and they’re part of a team in the community right now,” he said. “They’ve donated this truck, which will go out and hopefully help out in a lot of different situations where it’ll help the community.”