Mesachie Lake Fire Department partners with Timber West for local practice site

MLVFD secures practice facility half a mile from its locale, thanks to a new lease agreement with Timber West.

Members of the Mesachie Lake Fire Department (from left: Paul Zalinko

Members of the Mesachie Lake Fire Department (from left: Paul Zalinko

Mesachie Lake Volunteer Fire Department has secured a practice facility just half a mile from its locale, thanks to a new lease agreement with Timber West.

“This is a huge gain for a small department like ours,” said MLVFD fire chief Gary Eve. “It gives us a chance to practise being fire fighters in a safe, controlled environment.”

It was MLVFD fire fighter Casey Van Dalen who came up with the idea of using the vacant land at the corner of the Pacific Marine Circle Route and South Shore Road in Mesachie Lake.

“I phoned the Timber West office to make sure it was doable,” Van Dalen said, “and when the office said, yes – it’s doable – I phoned Gary and said Gary, I’ve got an idea…”

From there, it was a question of getting the CVRD to jump on board. Eve contacted the CVRD’s public safety manager, Sybille Sanderson, to run it by her. Happily, Sanderson found the idea “doable” as well.

Three MLVFD fire fighters  — Eve, Van Dalen, and a recent recruit, Paul Zalinko — met with Sanderson and Timber West communications manager Sue Handel on Feb. 13 to visit the site together.

“We’re always trying to find ways to support the fire departments,” Sanderson said of the lease agreement and the future potential it provides for the fire fighters.

Eve says having access to the gated facility will allow them to practise skills such as  burning, water streams, pumping water, drop tanks and using tankers and auto extrication.

“It’s leading into the direction that we’re going right now which is working on large diameter water supply and we need a place to practise that,” Eve said. “When we start running 1,000 feet of four-inch hose in front people’s properties, we’re blocking them in their homes.”

The department’s locale is in a residential section of Mesachie Lake, whereas the site of the former logging camp offices provides a gated area of about seven or eight acres. It has now been leased in a formal agreement between MLVFD, the CVRD and Timber West.

In addition, MLVFD will use the space conjointly with Honeymoon Bay’s fire department, which means that both fire departments can train on the spot.

“We enter into agreements like this when they are a good fit for us and a good fit for the other party,” explained Handel. “We make sure the details meet basic insurance requirements, which obviously they do, and beyond that it’s just a win for both parties.”

“We have a gentleman next door who has lined up a car for us that we will use to practise our auto extrication,” he said. “And we’d like to make a tower so we can practise dragging hoses upstairs.”

Like the fire chiefs who came before him in Mesachie Lake, Eve is always on the lookout for ways to achieve what the fire department needs to operate.

“Whether it’s finding large trucks for a low price,” he said, “or this opportunity for a working facility, MLVFD has always pushed forward.”

 

Just Posted

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

North Cowichan’s committee of the whole have rejected staff’s recommendation to limit the use of fireworks to Halloween. (File photo)
North Cowichan rejects limiting fireworks to Halloween

Municipality decides staff recommendation would be unpopular

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

CVRD Area E director Alison Nicholson, right, hiked two hours to Waterfall Camp at the Fairy Creek watershed along with Comox town councillor Nicole Minion and Comox Valley Regional District director Daniel Arbour to meet with old-growth logging activists on Monday, June 7. (Submitted)
Cowichan Valley regional director visits Fairy Creek protest camps

‘They clearly communicated that they are committed to what they are doing’

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in South Island parkland

These birds don’t often touch down on their way between northern B.C. and Mexico

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Most Read