For the size of the Mesachie Lake community, one wouldn’t expect as organized and professional a fire department.
But, there they are, rain or shine, ready to help those in their time of greatest need.
“They’re the best group of people I’ve ever been involved with,” chief Gary Eve said during the group’s Monday, October 3, weekly meeting.
With several years’ fire fighting experience, Eve took over this year as chief, filling the hole left by outgoing chief Nick Sohye.
To greater enjoy the retirement he’s worked toward, Sohye stepped down as chief, with the department voting in Eve as his successor.
“Nick and I always had a great working arrangement,” Eve said.
“He groomed me for this job. I wouldn’t be where I’m at without Nick tutoring me.”
“It’s the best job I’ve never been paid for.”
For a community of Mesachie Lake’s size, Eve said that the fire department is an impressive organization.
It boasts 18 members and two trucks; One hydrated, complete with everything required, including jaws of life, lift bags, and various other components, and capable of pumping up to 1,500 gallons per minute. The other truck is a secondary one, which services the Pacific Marine Circle Route.
“It’s always been a forward-thinking department,” Eve said, of the hall’s up-to-date equipment.
New to the department this year has been an increased communication capacity down the Pacific Marine Circle Route.
This came as a result of a recent motorcycle incident they’d responded to, during which time they noticed a large dead zone that their signals could not broadcast in or out of.
With use of a Ministry of Transportation repeater, they’ve eliminated the dead zones and now have clear transmission throughout their entire fire protection area.
An annual tradition, the department has also continued its Muscular Dystrophy ball tournament, raising nearly $45,000 during this year’s event at Mesachie Lake.
As a result, Muscular Dystrophy Canada has named the event the best multi-department single event for western Canada.
Although the department has an impressive 18 members at the moment, Eve said that they’re always on the lookout for more; young, and old, as they have an active junior firefighters’ program.
It’s basically a free first aid ticket, and other applicable training.
“They’re just a great group of people,” he said.