Our little fire department is located between Chimney and Felker Lakes, 25 minutes south of Williams Lake. We protect an area of 23 square kilometers, 24km long, fully surrounded by forest. When a wildland fire occurs in or near us we work with the Wildfire Management Branch. We are outside responders which means we do not enter a structure, but we keep a fire contained and from spreading to neighboring structures and homes.

In The Community There Are:

  • 140 Homes
  • 29 Mobile Homes
  • 18 seasonal homes or cabins
  • 7 Campsites grounds
  • 23 privately owned vacant land
  • No commercial buildings but a few home based businesses and a few large workshops and garages.
  • 95% of the structures are within 6km of the fire hall.

6 properties located on the south side of the lake are outside our coverage area because road access is difficult and we have no boat capability.

If you have an emergency, dial 911, they will call us.

As a backup plan, you can also call any of our members.  They are your neighbors.

Our community hall doubles as a fire hall, so that means moving our tender off the dance floor for party nights.

No fire hydrants for this rural department so we get water for fire operations from the lakes.  We back out trucks to one of seven drafting sites.  In winter this requires snow ploughing and an ice auger, thus the ice auger included in our crest.

Neighboring fire departments are Williams Lake, 150 Mile House, Lac la Hache, but because of the administrative distance limitations we do not have mutual aid agreements with our neighbors but we do occasionally train together.  

In the summer of 2017, after we evacuated the community and staged a crew or our firefighters to stay in the community, we worked for the Office of the Fire Commissioner assisting our neighboring departments of Williams Lake and Miocene in the wildfire control.

Our 20+ firefighters are 100% volunteer.  We have Worksafe BC coverage, ‘just in case’.  All of our firefighters have level 1 first aid training.

We are an independent department.  That means we do not receive any regular taxation based funding.  We operate using funds from community membership dues, community fund raising events, occasional grants and donations.

Most Common Emergency Calls:

  • Motor vehicle accidents, (roll over, car vs. deer)
  • Medical assistance (slip and fall, heart attack)
  • Wildland fires (lightning strike)

Our Apparatus:

  • Pumper 61 – 1996 E-One/Freightliner, 750 igal tank, 1500 igpm pump
  • Tender 62 – 2001 Sterling Tender, 4000 igal, 750 igm

Misc Fire Department Notes:

  • Although our pumper looks shiny it is 25 years old.  The National Fire Protection Association says a first line fire truck should be less than 20 years old, but with annual testing can be stretched to 30 years, with an annual inspection by pump and apparatus technician at a cost of >$10,000 each year.  Time for us to be planning for replacement in the near future.
  • The Fire Underwriters tell us a rural fire department like ours should have a Pumper and a Tender.  A fire apparatus has a life expectancy of 20 to 25 years.  A new pumper is $250,000 to 350,000.  One can see it costs 10 to 14,000 per year just for the capital cost of 1 fire truck.  Interestingly, you can buy a 10 year old used pumper for $150,000, it has 15 years life left in it, that works out to $10,000 per year again.  A new tender is $150,000 to 200,000 so that’s 6 to $8,000 per year.  Just to cover the basic purchase price (not to mention any financing cost, or operating costs like fuel, maintenance and insurance), 16 to $22,000 needs to go into a savings account each year.

Hints & Reminders: 

  • Do you have a fire extinguisher handy?
  • When did you last test your smoke detector? 
  • Do you have a carbon monoxide detector in your home?
  • How you can reduce the chance of a chimney fire.
    • Use only well dried wood.  That means if the tree was alive this summer, don’t use it for a year or more.
    • Use a chimney thermometer to help identify efficient burning (it reduces smoke and saves you money too).
    • If you have a glass door and it gets to dirty to see the fire, you are likely also building up creosote in the chimney.
    • Creosote is the black gooey to crispy coating on the inside of your chimney.  It builds up and eventually ignites producing extremely high (over 1000°C) temperatures so hot they can ignite asphalt roofing, plywood roof sheeting and roof trusses.
    • Clean your chimney regularly.
    • Have a professional inspection and cleaning annually.
  • Did you know you can control a chimney by tossing wet dish rag into the fire box and close the door.  Call the fire department.
  • If you’ve had one chimney fire, it means the next one is far more likely to be catastrophic.

9 Signs of a Chimney Fire

And what a Professional Chimney Sweep looks for to Identify if a Chimney Fire has Occurred:

  1. “Puffy” or “honey combed” creosote
  2. Warped metal of the damper, metal smoke chamber connector pipe or factory-built metal chimney
  3. Cracked or collapsed flue tiles, or tiles with large chunks missing
  4. Discolored and/or distorted rain cap
  5. Heat-damaged TV antenna attached to the chimney
  6. Creosote flakes and pieces found on the roof or ground
  7. Roofing material damaged from hot creosote
  8. Cracks in exterior masonry
  9. Evidence of smoke escaping through mortar joints of masonry or tile liners

Volunteer Fire Crew Personnel

  • Allen Schaad, Chief
  • Al Tranq – Asst. Chief, Training Officer
  • Alison MacLise – Dispatch and support
  • Cindy Edginton – Dispatch and support
  • Kim Tranq
  • Jack Leggett
  • Ken Grainger
  • Todd Voth
  • Lorne McKerlich
  • Ken Gibson
  • Danny Moxey
  • Simon Bett
  • Wayne Erlandson
  • Susan Erlandson
  • Chris Blake
  • Geordie Moore
  • Cindy Moore
  • Wade Lamb

Retired/inactive but “friends” of the department

  • Bill Margetts
  • Darrel Bornyk
  • Leigh Markland
  • Wayne Rich
  • Harold Richards
  • Kevin Larsen, radio technician

New members are always welcome. There are a variety of jobs for volunteers of all levels of skill and physical ability.

Training is at 7:00pm Tuesday nights. Come and see us in action or join in!