Jul 11, 2016   -   Fort Mac firefighters face potential health issues

July 11, 2016, Fort McMurray, Alta. - Many Fort McMurray firefighters, unable to wear their usual air masks while battling a giant wildfire that attacked the northern Alberta city, are being screened for health problems because they spent several days breathing in hazardous smoke.

Some of the 180 crew have developed a persistent cough, says firefighter Nick Waddington, president of the Fort McMurray branch of the International Association of Fire Fighters.

Results of lung and blood tests will be private. But Waddington predicts the firefighters will need ongoing support and possible treatment for serious illnesses over the next 10 to 20 years.

"Realistically, a lot of our guys, their lives are going to be shortened because of this incident,'' Waddington says bluntly. "When you compound that with everything that we're going to have in our careers, we're definitely going to be in a high risk.''

The fire spread into the oilsands capital on May 3 and forced more than 80,000 people to leave. It destroyed roughly 2,400 homes and other buildings — about one-tenth of the city. Firefighters were credited with saving the rest of the community.

Municipal crews were assisted in the following days by firefighters from other communities and wildland firefighters from across Canada and other countries — about 2,200 in all.

But the hometown crew was there first, working around the clock, when the forest fire morphed into an urban blaze and moved from timber to buildings with toxins in vinyl siding, treated lumber and furniture.

Firefighters "would have been out there for long periods of time sucking in the smoke,'' says Fort McMurray fire Chief Darby Allen.

He explains that municipal firefighters normally wear a self-contained breathing apparatus. The air in the tanks might last up to an hour — enough time for going into a single house fire, but not for a marathon shift fighting flames consuming hundreds of homes.

"We didn't have time to get back to the hall to charge (the tanks).''

Forest crews sometimes wear particulate filter masks. Waddington says those P100 masks aren't stocked in large numbers at municipal fire stations. Pallets of them arrived a few days after the fire raced into the city.

But wearing such masks is a "double-edge sword,'' Waddington says. The filters make it harder to breathe and can get plugged.

And the half-masks can cause safety glasses and visors to fog, says Jamie Coutts, fire chief of Slave Lake, Alta.

"How do you wear that for six days?'' he says.

Coutts and 13 Slave Lake firefighters helped during the initial days of the Fort McMurray fire and he says he didn't get a filter mask.

He also didn't have one during a forest fire that spread into his town in 2011 and destroyed about 400 buildings.

In the months after that fire, members of the Slave Lake crew developed chest infections and nose and throat problems, Coutts says. He was diagnosed with asthma and later lung sarcoidosis, although he says the disease can't be directly linked to the fire.

After Coutts got home from Fort McMurray, he was coughing and wheezing again and couldn't run up the stairs, he says.

"I'm a firefighter. I've got a better-than-average chance of dying of cancer. It is what it is.''

Coutts says experts need to come up with a better way to protect crews when forest fires move into urban area.

"They're going to have to make better particulate masks.''

Peter Krich, president of the Alberta Fire Chiefs Association, says his group may look at whether filter masks should be stocked in communities in forested areas.

The Fort McMurray fire was unusually large, Krich points out. "You're not just fighting one fire. You're fighting two fires, three, four, five ... It was going on and on and you could never stop.''

The challenge, he says, is that firefighters will do whatever it takes without thinking of their health.

"We have to learn,'' he says. "Hopefully we can ... be more prepared or help each other better in the event of something of this nature happening ever again.''


http://See more at: http://www.firefightingincanada.com/headlines/fort-mac-firefighters-being-screened-for-health-problems-23295#sthash.Ss2cr3iM.dpuf

Jul 11, 2016   -   Thunderstorm, flooding keeps Calgary crews busy

July 11, 2016, Calgary - Calgary fire crews were kept busy on Saturday night when a wicked thunderstorm rolled through the city.

The fire department says emergency calls about lightning strikes and flooding came in about every two minutes during the height of the rumbler.

The storm also set off alarms in multiple buildings and each needed to be investigated by crews.

A construction office was severely damaged by a fire possibly caused by a lightning strike, but no injuries were reported.

Lightning is also believed to have hit a gas line and meter at a house in the city’s northeast.

Two homes were evacuated as a precaution, but crews quickly shut off the gas before a fire could start.

The storm brought with it hail that blanketed front lawns, as well as heavy rain that caused flash flooding, power outages and transit delays.

A spokeswoman for Enmax said the utility provider also received a lot of calls over a short time.

“We experienced a momentary outage … that (affected) about 3,100 customers … but the power came back on fairly quickly,” said Doris Kauffman Woodcock.



http://- See more at: http://www.firefightingincanada.com/headlines/thunderstorm-flooding-keeps-calgary-crews-busy-23299#sthash.RFxhTj9D.dpuf

Jul 7, 2016   -   Girl saves siblings from fire, credits family plan

A 12-year-old girl is being hailed as a hero for acting quickly to protect her younger siblings from a kitchen fire in their Ottawa home.

Annaka Boucher says she was "working on instinct" when she hustled her brother and sister out of the family home earlier this week, after smelling smoke while preparing toast in the kitchen.

"The fire alarm went off and I couldn't see any smoke, but I could smell it, like a burning rubber kind of smell," Boucher told CTV Ottawa on Wednesday.

The girl says she knew what to do because her family had practised a home escape plan in the event of a fire. "I knew: get out of the house," she said.

The toaster caught fire moments later, filling the house with black smoke.

"If I would have stayed in there for another two more minutes, one of us could have been trapped in the house and something horrible could have happened," Boucher said.

Firefighters were quick to arrive and contain the flames. They also managed to rescue the family's two cats.

Danielle Cardinal of Ottawa Fire Services credited Boucher for acting quickly under pressure.

"Annaka has been very brave because we can think we'd act a certain way during an emergency, but to execute it as flawlessly as she did, she has my nod for five gold stars," Cardinal told CTV Ottawa. She also praised the family for teaching their children what to do in case of a fire.

Though her birthday is only two weeks away, Boucher is already building a strong track record of safety. Her school named her the "safety patroller of the year" last year.

Boucher said she's just glad no one was hurt in the fire. "You can't replace a person but you can replace a TV," she said. "So as long as everybody's safe, then that's alright with me."



Jun 22, 2016   -   Fatal Drummondville fire made worse by lack of smoke detectors, says c

A Quebec coroner says a faulty fire alarm system and lack of smoke detectors contributed to the death of three Drummondville men in an apartment building in 2015.

Coroner Yvon Garneau's report confirmed that Stéphane Vincent, Marcel Roy and Pierre Garceau all died of asphyxiation during the building fire on July 23, 2015.

Eight others were injured in the overnight fire, which tore through an apartment building on Des Merisiers Avenue, about 100 kilometres northeast of Montreal. The building was a total loss, leaving all of its residents homeless.

Residents thought fire was false alarm

Garneau's report confirms firefighters' initial theory that the flames started as a grease fire.

In his report, he said the building's fire system had gone off in instances were there was no fire, leaving residents believing it the fire was a false alarm.

He also said some apartment units didn't have smoke detectors, or if they did, the batteries in them weren't working.

"Today, in 2016, it's very hard to understand, but we need to work on that," said Garneau.



Jun 17, 2016   -   Preliminary cost of Fort McMurray fire estimated at $615 million

In early May, a wildfire dubbed "the beast" tore through Fort McMurray, forcing the evacuation of 90,000 people. About 2,400 structures were destroyed. Thousands more were damaged. 

Since early June, some residents have been returning to their homes. But the entry date for those who lived in the hardest hit areas is up in the air. 

"Alberta appreciates the support of our federal government and all Canadians as we continue to deal with a difficult situation," said Larivee.

The provincial and federal governments will be working together to implement a Canadian Wildfire Strategy and to strengthen fire-prevention programs.



Jun 16, 2016   -   Alberta orders review of Fort Mac fire response

June 16, 2015, Edmonton - Alberta has ordered a review into how it responded to the huge wildfire known as "The Beast'' that destroyed parts of the Fort McMurray region and forced close to 90,000 people from their homes.

The government says the review will focus on how well the province was prepared for the fire that broke out on May 1 and burned almost 5,900 square kilometres.

It will also cover how the government fought the wildfire, which is no longer growing but is not yet under control.

"This fire has altered the lives of thousands of people who are now faced with the difficult task of rebuilding their lives,'' Agriculture and Forestry Minister Oneil Carlier said Wednesday in a release.

"Reviews like this are a normal part of our business when faced with extreme wildfire conditions or an extreme wildfire event.''

The fire destroyed 2,400 homes and buildings and caused the shutdown of two key oilsands facilities.

The government has issued a request for proposals to find a contractor to conduct the review, which is to be completed by the end of the year.

"The impact to both infrastructure and the economy will be measured in the billions of dollars,'' the review document says.

The review is to include an assessment of the weather, which was unseasonably warm, dry and windy, and how much timber and brush surrounded threatened or burned neighbourhoods and oilsands facilities.

The review will also look at the behaviour of the fire, which spread quickly and unpredictably.

Wildfire operations, including the number of firefighters, equipment and aircraft that were deployed to fight the fire and how they were used, are also to be looked at.

Carlier said the cause of the wildfire, which is being investigated by RCMP and wildfire officials, will not be part of the review.

The Municipal Affairs Department is looking at ordering a separate review into the evacuation of the city and the area, but no announcement has been made yet.

Similar reviews were held after the wildfire that destroyed part of the town of Slave Lake in 2011. Those reviews lead to changes in how the province works to prevent and fight wildfires.

People have been returning to the Fort McMurray and the surrounding area since June 1.

Earlier this week the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo estimated that about half of the evacuees have come home as the community slowly works to bounce back from the disaster.

- See more at: http://www.firefightingincanada.com/headlines/alberta-orders-review-of-fort-mac-fire-response-23176#sthash.onUp7lph.dpuf

May 20, 2016   -   Fort McMurray wildfire crosses border

May 20, 2016, Edmonton - Crews were holding a destructive wildfire away from oilsands facilities and communities in northern Alberta on Thursday as flames spread into neighbouring Saskatchewan.

The blaze, dubbed ''the beast'' by firefighters after it entered Fort McMurray two weeks ago, has grown to about 5,000 square kilometres in size, with nearly eight square kilometres stretching over the Saskatchewan boundary.

Alberta senior wildlife manager Chad Morrison said the fire has burned the same amount of forest as all fires consumed in Alberta last year.

But with recent success by firefighters on the ground and in the air – and forecasts for cooler, wetter weather – there was cautious optimism.

''The threat definitely has diminished around the communities and the oilsands facilities, for sure,'' Morrison said.

''We continue to make great progress.''

More than 80,000 residents fled Fort McMurray on May 3 when the fire started burning homes on the edges of the city. Officials have said more than 2,400 buildings were lost but that firefighters managed to save almost 90 per cent of the oilsands capital.

Earlier this week, about 8,000 workers were evacuated from work camps in the area and Suncor and Syncrude shut down their operations, although other companies continue to operate and some camps remain open.

The Alberta government announced earlier this week that some people may start returning to Fort McMurray on June 1 if several safety conditions are met, including that the fire is no longer an imminent threat and the air is safe to breathe.

Municipal Affairs Minister Danielle Larivee said re-entry work was to continue.

Workers who had been cleaning and repairing the city's hospital, and were evacuated a few days ago, were to be back on Friday.

Others working to reopen pharmacies and grocery stores were also to return in the coming days, she said, and everyone would be given protective masks.

Morrison said fire officials would be working with counterparts in Saskatchewan to manage the fire as it continues to burn.

Saskatchewan's emergency management commissioner, Duane McKay, said no communities were under immediate threat.

The fire was about 30 kilometres away from La Loche, a Dene village of 3,000 people, which made headlines following a mass shooting in January. Four people, including two teachers in the community's high school, were killed.

McKay said La Loche is safe from the flames so far. Wildfires burned in the area last summer.

''La Loche is situated against a lake. There's old burns to the north as well, so we don't see a direct fire threat.''

Smoke may be the biggest concern to the village, he said, adding expected winds from the east might help clear some of it out of the community.


May 19, 2016   -   Alberta fire and OHV ban greatly reduced

The provincewide fire and off-highway vehicle ban implemented at the height of the Fort McMurray wildfires has been lifted in most parts of the province heading into the May long weekend.


The ban is still in place northeast of Lac La Biche.


Portable propane fire pits, propane or gas stoves and outdoor barbecues are still allowed for those living in areas still under the ban.


Open fires remain prohibited.

Residents are advised to check with individual municipalities as cities, towns, villages and federal lands — like national parks — may still have bans in effect.




May 11, 2016   -   Cement plant blaze sends firefighters to hospital

Four firefighters were taken to hospital after a fire broke out at a cement plant on Tuesday morning.

The fire began at around 9 a.m.in a coal silo at the Lehigh Hanson Inland Cement Plant in northwest Edmonton, said Gerry Sanderson, the plant's health and safety director. 

Edmonton Fire Rescue spokeswoman Jill McKenzie said 16 firefighters were called to the blaze when it was reported at around 11:30 a.m. 

'What I'm told is that they possibly inhaled some CO or potential gas and became lightheaded and received oxygen.'- Gerry Sanderson, Lehigh Hanson health and safety director

Four had to be "extracted" from the rooftop of the building, she said, and were taken to hospital as a precaution.

McKenzie would not comment on the firefighters' condition, or why they had to be sent to hospital.

Sanderson said the firefighters were spraying the fire from the roof of the silo when they may have been exposed to a gas inside.

"What I'm told is that they possibly inhaled some CO or potential gas and became lightheaded and received oxygen," he said. 

Sanderson could not say why the fire was reported to the fire department around two hours after it was discovered, but said the plant has its own emergency crews on site. 

No employees were injured in the fire and the plant was not evacuated. 

Fire trucks could still be seen coming and going from the plant on Tuesday afternoon.

Fire truck

Fire trucks could still be seen coming and going from the cement plant at around 4 p.m., hours after the fire started. (CBC)

The fire continued to burn around 4 p.m., but Sanderson said it's under control.

"It's raw coal, so it's just a smoldering fire, there's no flames or anything like that. Just a lot of smoke," he said.

Sanderson said the cause of the fire is still being determined, and that fires in cement plants are rare.

"We'll have some maintenance work to do once the fire is extinguished." he said. "We have to clean some coal out, repair the equipment that was damaged."




May 6, 2016   -   Province restricts off-highway vehicle recreational use

A temporary province wide restriction on off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreational use on public lands and provincial parks is another tool the province will use to help prevent the spread of wildfires.

This action comes in response to the request of the Alberta Off-Highway Vehicle Association and follows the government’s province wide fire ban and ban on incendiary targets on all provincial Crown lands issued May 5.   

“Our fire crews are working around the clock to battle wildfires in Fort McMurray and around the province.  All Albertans can do their part to help ensure firefighters can focus their resources on the areas of greatest need.”

Oneil Carlier, Minister Agriculture of and Forestry

“We do not take this step lightly; however, we must reduce the potential for more wildfires throughout the province. Quite simply, OHV recreational use under our current conditions has the very real potential to contribute to an already catastrophic wildfire season.”

Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks

“We support the government’s decision to temporarily restrict OHV recreational use. As responsible OHV users in this province we want to do our part to prevent wildfires and to reduce the burden on firefighters and emergency personnel.”

Brent Hodgson, President Alberta Off-Highway Vehicle Association

The OHV restriction will be in place until further notice. It applies to recreational use on public lands, including designated OHV trails, only. It will not apply to agriculture, public safety or commercial/industrial users who operate OHVs for farming, enforcement or business purposes. The OHV restriction does not apply to the use of an OHV by Indigenous peoples when exercising a right recognized and affirmed under Part II of the Constitution Act, 1982 or a right under section 12 of the Natural Resources Transfer Agreement.

Wildfire management staff, along with enforcement personnel, including Conservation Officers and Fish and Wildlife Officers, will enforce the temporary OHV recreational restriction immediately. OHVs include all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), four-wheel vehicles, motorcycles and related two-wheel vehicles and amphibious machines.




May 3, 2016   -   Alberta Province-wide Fire Ban

Description: There is a province-wide fire ban in effect. The fire ban expands the fire restriction that was enacted on May 3 in the Forest Protection Area. All open fires, including campfires and charcoal briquettes, are prohibited. The use of incendiary targets is also banned. Portable propane fire pits and gas or propane stoves and barbeques designed for cooking or heating are allowed. A county or municipal district may decide to add a restriction on propane fire pits or propane stoves and barbecues. The fire ban applies to Alberta’s Forest Protection Area and all counties, municipal districts and special areas, and provincial parks and recreation areas. The fire ban does not apply to cities, towns, villages, summer villages, or federal lands, such as national parks. Many of the jurisdictions that are not covered by the provincial fire ban have already put complementary fire bans in place and we encourage those that have not to do so. Recreational users of OHVs are encouraged to discontinue use until the wildfire hazard subsides. If use of these vehicles is required for industry personnel only, please take extra precautions and clean debris from hot spots regularly. The fire ban will remain in place until further notice. Every precaution is being taken to ensure no new preventable fires are started in the coming days that will put additional strain on the province's firefighting resources.

Contact Number: (866) 394-3473

Effective Date: 5/5/2016

Expiry Date:

Apr 28, 2016   -   KC police stuck in an elevator, who do you call? Firefighters

It’s probably on your Twitter or Facebook timeline.

On Wednesday, Kansas City firefighters were dispatched on an emergency to rescue a group stuck in an elevator. Happens every so often. No big deal.

But this call came from the Kansas City Police Regional Academy at Interstate 435 and Pleasant Valley Road. The individuals stuck between floors: tactical police officers.

It took firefighters about 20 minutes to “rescue” them.

Someone snapped a photo of firefighter Tony George Pisciotta giving a thumbs-up sign. It shows the trapped officers in the background simply enjoying the moment.

Tim Dupin posted the photo on Facebook and tweeted it. By early Thursday afternoon, it had been shared more than 8,000 times on Facebook, retweeted 18,000 times and had 5.6 million hits on Imgur and Reddit.

“We have a good relationship with the police department, and it is just a lot of fun,” said Tim Dupin, a business representative for Local 42 of the International Association of Fire Fighters. “We are able to laugh at each other and have a good time, but we are always supportive of each other.”

Kansas City police also posted the photo on the department’s Facebook page.

“Well that was embarrassing,” the post said.

By midafternoon Thursday, 43,000 people had liked the post.

Glenn E. Rice: 816-234-4341@GRicekcstar




Apr 25, 2016   -   Fire department set up landing zone for STARS

On April 18 at 11:22 a.m., the Drayton Valley/Brazeau County Fire Services crew were dispatched to 6412 Highway 616 due to a request to set up a landing zone for STARS ambulance. Two people were injured while unloading cattle gates off a trailer. The female patient was transported via ground while the 64-year old male was transported via STARS ambulance.


Fire crews were dispatched to a single motor vehicle collision on April 13 at 11:45 a.m. EMS and RCMP were also on scene. The patient was reported to have had a diabetic emergency.


The fire department received a call regarding a small grass fire that was reported to be threatening structures at 49217 Range Road 81 on April 14 at 2:10 p.m. A small grass brush fire adjacent to the south parking lot of a commercial structure was reported. The property owner’s employees were able to contain the fire. Fire crews extinguished the fire when they arrived on scene. Investigations revealed that the grass fire was started by sparks from a welder using a grinder on a flat deck trailer.

On April 17 at 12:19 p.m., fire crews responded to a grass fire in an alley at 5219 53 Avenue due to a bird electrocution in a high voltage power line. The initial assessment made by the fire department indicated a small grass fire along a chain link fence approximately 10 feet long. The fire was extinguished by the caller. The first responding officer on scene reported that the fire was out and there were no down power lines. The fire department received another call on the same day to a second location for a shed fire that started from the power line disruption caused by the bird electrocution.


The fire department received a fire alarm call on April 13 at 8:11 p.m. Fire crews responded to 34 Country Style trailer park and saw that nobody was home at a single trailer but saw light coming from the door. Fire crews made an entry and extinguished a small fire in the kitchen. The cause of the fire is still under investigation at this time.


On April 14 at 1:38 p.m., the fire department received a residential fire alarm call at 4541 44 Avenue. When fire crews arrived on scene, it was found out that the alarm was set off due to cooking.


Fire crews responded to a lift assist call on April 17 at 5:20 p.m. at 3902 47 Street. Fire crews helped EMS with transporting a 72-year old male who was having difficulty breathing.


Starting May 1, the fire department will start accepting applications for volunteer paid on-call firefighters. The deadline for applications is set for May 31.


Applications for both the Breton and Drayton Valley Kids’ Camps will open on May 2. Parents are encouraged to pick up application forms at the fire hall. The Breton Kids’ Camp will run from July 19 to 22 while the Drayton Valley Kids’ Camp will run from August 23 to 26.



Apr 25, 2016   -   Local administrative assistant to celebrate ten years

Drayton Valley/Brazeau County Fire Services administrative assistant Carla Appleby will soon celebrate her 10th anniversary as a staff of the Town of Drayton Valley.

“I have been working with the town as an administrative assistant for 10 years as of May 11,” said Appleby. “I love working for the town. I had such a great opportunity to work with such great people in the community and to meet and work alongside them. They have mentored me including Nessen Naidoo, Manny Deol, and fire chief Tom Thomson, who is pretty awesome and a great role model.”

Appleby started working as an administrative assistant for the town office right after high school and then later on applied for a position at the fire department.

“When I graduated high school, I started off at the front desk of the town office doing utilities so that requires taking payments, greeting the public, cutting off water bills,” Appleby said. “And then the fire department administrative assistant retired so I applied and I got it.”

As an administrative assistant for the fire department, Appleby is responsible for a variety of tasks including scheduling and organizing events.

“I do the invoicing for the fire department, minute-taking, scheduling, reporting for the incident reports,” she said. “I also do a lot of public stuff like fire prevention programs and events that the fire department puts on. Anywhere from emergency services ball to our hockey tournament to our fire prevention month to awards night and all those summer barbeques.”

Appleby said one of the challenges she faces as an administrative assistant for the fire department is juggling multiple tasks at once, there is always more than one thing going on at once.

“There is always going to be challenges but I think that we always figure them out together as a team when they approach us. “I would say we have a great structure in our organization”.

However, Appleby said the people she works with makes it all worthwhile.

“I love my job. It is not necessarily what I do but it’s who I work with. I work with some great people. It is kind of a brotherhood here so it is nice. I have about 50 older brothers or so,” she said. “I really like the people I work with and I think that the fire department would not be as good as it is without everybody that is a part of it. I think we are a big puzzle and I am just a piece of the puzzle that goes together.”




Apr 15, 2016   -   St. Albert firefighter jumps into river to escape flames of grass fire

A firefighter in St. Albert was forced to jump into the Sturgeon River Thursday afternoon to escape the flames of a massive grass fire.

Fire crews were called out to fight two brush fires north of Edmonton Thursday afternoon.

One of the fires was near Ray Gibbon Drive. The flames became so dangerous at one point crews were forced to pull back from the fire. That’s when one member of St. Albert Fire Services was forced into the water.

He suffered minor burns when the wind suddenly changed and caused a fire tornado to form, St. Albert Fire Services said Thursday night. He was taken to hospital for treatment.

One of the fire hoses used to battle the blaze was also consumed by flames.

The other fire threatened power lines in the Aikensdale neighborhood. No homes or buildings were damaged in the fire.

Both fires were doused by about 6 p.m.





Apr 13, 2016   -   Marlborough fire destroys detached garage, damages two others

One detached garage was completely destroyed and two others were badly damaged after a large fire in the northeast community of Marlborough.

Fire crews were called to a garage fire around 4:20 Wednesday afternoon in the 3900 block of 14 Avenue N.E.

When firefighters arrived, flames had consumed one garage and had spread to two neighbouring garages.

The fire also caused damage to the rear siding of two homes.

In a press release, the Calgary Fire Department said, “the radiant heat also caused the siding on two garages across the back alley to melt.”

No injuries were reported and there’s still no word on the cause.

Investigators said it’s still unclear if the fire has any connection to other recent fires in the same neighbourhood.




Apr 13, 2016   -   Estevan tattoo parlour damaged by fire

Estevan fire crews worked throughout the morning to battle an early-morning blaze in the energy city.

According to the police department, the fire was reported at around 5:00 a.m.

The building is a Heretics Motorcycle Club, and attached tattoo parlour. 

Few details are being released at this point, including the cause of the fire. 




Apr 1, 2016   -   Fire Advisory Now in Effect

Please be advised that the fire department has put a Fire Advisory on for our area.
A fire advisory occurs when the fire hazard in the area is Moderate to High. Wildfires can start from most accidental causes and spread moderately through dry brush and grasses. Outdoor burning is permitted only with a fire permit or in an approved fire pit or burning appliance.

Thank you

Mar 21, 2016   -   RCMP help with child luring case

An investigation between ALERT and Drayton Valley RCMP detachment has led to an arrest of a church pastor charged with child luring.

“One of our members here, she actually latched onto it because it had been a file reported directly to us and she had engaged various resources including Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) unit,” said Staff Sgt. Malcolm Callihoo about Cst. Stephanie Leduc, who was working closely on the case.

The pastor with the Meewasin Free Methodist Church in Duffield was charged with child luring in the case.

ALERT’s (ICE) team arrested Glenn Harvey Boyde on March 14 and charged the 59-year-old pastor.

Callihoo confirmed that investigation found that there were text messages sent back and forth that were of a sexual nature.

An RCMP release stated in May 2015 the parents of a 15-year-old female found inappropriate text messages on her phone.

The texts were believed to be from an adult male that was known to the family through the church and youth social gatherings that the girl had participated in. The offense was first reported to Drayton Valley RCMP and ICE got involved later. ICE reviewed the text messages and was able to identify Boyde as a suspect. He was employed as a pastor when the alleged offenses took place; however, he was removed from his official position shortly after the complaint came forward.

“The Alert took over the file after a time but the investigator here was involved for the entire process,” confirmed Callihoo.

Boyde was released from custody on a number of conditions. His next court appearance is scheduled for March 30 in Stony Plain.

Callihoo said with the increased use of technology, cases related to technology are becoming more and more common.

“With the technology becoming more and more prevalent you will see more of that type of thing happening,” he said.




Mar 21, 2016   -   Massive blaze destroys slaughterhouse near Didsbury

Fire crews from Olds, Didsbury and Carstairs were called to large fire at a slaughterhouse about four kilometres south of Didsbury Tuesday.

It happened at around 2:30 p.m. along Range Road 20 at Township Road 310.

Paramedics were on standby in case any firefighters were hurt battling the massive blaze.

No one was injured.

According to Carstairs’ fire chief Jordan Schafer, within about an hour, crews had an upper-hand on the blaze.

Fire crews had initially suggested the slaughterhouse was abandoned. Late Tuesday afternoon, Global News was contacted by a woman who said the plant was actually in use, processing for a retail store at the time of the fire.

The investigation into what started the fire is ongoing.

Mar 21, 2016   -   Crews battle two-alarm warehouse fire in northwest Edmonton

Fire tore through a warehouse in an industrial district of northwest Edmonton on Sunday.

According to officials, firefighters were called the scene of MTE Logistix located near 146 Street and 128 Avenue just before noon.

Edmonton Fire Rescue spokesperson Holly Budd said crews arrived to find black smoke coming from the building. “They forced entry and the sprinkler system had been activated in the building that helped control the fire,” she told CTV News.

Firefighters called two more trucks to the scene shortly after arrival.

Officials declared the fire out just before 3 p.m. - the cause the blaze is under investigation.

No other details have been released.




Mar 7, 2016   -   3 Minute Drill Campaign

Research shows toxic smoke from burning synthetic materials found in drapes, carpets and furniture in modern homes can build up to deadly levels in as little as three minutes. Yet only a few realize that it may take seven or more minutes for the fire service to respond. Preventing fires in and around your home is more critical than ever before.

A unique interactive website now offers an easy relaxed way to learn fire prevention and safety.

o  Learn where fire hazards lurk in your home
o  Find out how you can prevent these fire hazards from getting out of control
o  Get seasonal fire safety updates on fire safety issues
o  Sign up for an e-mail reminder once a month to keep your smoke alarms working.

Visit www.3minutedrill.alberta.ca to take the challenge.

Mar 7, 2016   -   Alberta Wildfire Mobile Applications

Stay current on Alberta's wildfire situation.

See where wildfires are burning in Alberta and how they impact you. Get up-to-date information on wildfire conditions and hazard. Join our conversation on Facebook and Twitter. Report a wildfire.


  • Easy access to Alberta's wildfire map with up-to-date wildfire information.
  • Area-specific updates on wildfire situations.
  • Direct contact information for Alberta's wildfire-related websites, phone numbers and email addresses.
  • Report a wildfire.

Visit: http://www.programs.alberta.ca/16742.aspx#ad-image-1

Mar 3, 2016   -   Alberta government to fund fire training

March 3, 2016 - The Alberta government is spending $650,000 to support fire and emergency-preparedness training for first responders in 50 municipalities and four First Nations. 

The funding is part of a Fire Services Emergency Preparedness Program aimed at volunteer and mutual-aid fire departments. The program will provide $500,000 for fire training and $150,000 for emergency management training in 2016. 

The grant program, according to a government news release, will help first responders develop the skills needed to respond effectively during fire and emergency events. 

“Local firefighters and emergency responders provide an invaluable service to their communities,” Danielle Larivee, Minister of Muncipal Affairs, said in the release. “Our government is proud to invest in emergency preparedness training as just one of the ways we will continue to help these individuals who help others.” 

Municipalities and First Nations that have mutual-aid agreements were given application priority, according to the release. 

For more information, including a list of the recipients, go to www.ofc.alberta.ca/grant-funded-training 

Oct 20, 2015   -   Last week for Chimney Sweep Signup

LAST WEEK TO SIGN UP for our 5th annual Mary Poppins Chimney Sweep Program Oct 26th-30th/2015 Now taking bookings on Discounted Chimney Cleanings and Inspections !! Please call Carla @ 1(780)514-2216 for more details and to book your appointment today !!!! www.leducchimneysweep.com. BETTER HURRY ITS FILLING UP FAST !!

Jun 16, 2015   -   INFORMATION BULLETIN - Bauer Helmet Recall

Bulletin No: 15/05

Date: June 16, 2015

To: ALL Hockey Alberta Membership (Including: Players, Coaches, Parents, Teams, Leagues and Minor Hockey Associations)

From: Hockey Alberta


This Information Bulletin is being distributed to all contacts of Hockey Alberta. We would ask your assistance in providing the widest possible distribution for this notice about a joint recall by Health Canada, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (US CPSC) and Bauer Hockey Corp.

This recall involves the following goal masks and cages:

Bauer Concept C1 Goal Mask with Certified Titanium Oval Wire: carbon fiber shell with a foam liner and sweatband, and a titanium wire cage that attaches to the mask with two screws on each side of the mask; Senior masks in sizes S/M and M/L, available in two shell colors: black and white. "Concept C1" is marked on the top of the shell. A sticker inside the shell at the jaw lists the model and size. A second sticker on the other side of the shell at the jaw lists the country of origin (China), the assembly date and the CE certification. Certification (CSA, HECC) and warning stickers are affixed to the backplate of the mask.

Bauer NME 10 Goal Mask with Certified Titanium Oval Wire: fiberglass/carbon fiber shell with a foam liner and sweatband, and a titanium wire cage that attaches to the mask with two screws on each side of the mask. Senior masks in three sizes: Fit 1, Fit 2 and Fit 3, available in two shell colors: black and white. "NME10" is marked on the top of the shell. A sticker inside the shell at the jaw lists the model and size. A second sticker on the other side of the shell at the jaw lists the country of origin (China), the assembly date and the CE certification. Certification (CSA, HECC) and warning stickers are affixed to the backplate of the mask.

Bauer RP NME Ti Titanium Cage: a replacement cage intended for the Concept C1 and NME 10 goal masks. It has a matte finish. The cage has two side plates, one on each side of the cage. One side plate includes a sticker with the model designation (RP NME Ti Sr) and the CSA certification. The other sticker indicates HECC and CE certification. On the inside of the side plate is a sticker with the country of origin (Thailand).

Bauer has determined there may be a quality issue in some of the titanium wire used in the manufacture of the cages. The metal wires on the affected cages can break and may not provide adequate protection in the event of impact from a puck, posing a facial impact or laceration hazard

Consumers should stop using the recalled goal masks with the affected wire cages and contact Bauer Hockey Corp. Bauer Hockey Corp. has received nine reports, eight in Canada and one in the United States, of the titanium wire cage cracking or breaking upon impact with a puck, resulting in minor facial injuries in four of the reports.

Approximately 1,300 units were sold in Canada, and approximately 1,200 units were sold in the United States. The recalled products were sold from April 2013 to February 2015.

Please click on the link below to obtain more information on this recall.


For more information, consumers may contact Bauer's Customer Service toll-free at 1-844-448-4246, Monday to Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST.

Consumers may also contact Bauer's Customer Service by email at titaniumrecall@bauer.com or visit Bauer's website at https://www.bauer.com/

Apr 27, 2015   -   Kids Firefighting Camp


Are you interested in learning about firefighting?
Are you 8 – 12 years of age?
Are you willing to experience new and exciting things
while learning at the same time?


If you answered YES to these questions come join the Drayton Valley / Brazeau County Fire Services for a week of:

July 7-10, 2015 Breton
August 18 – 21, 2015 Drayton Valley

FIREFIGHTER CAMP is 4 days of experiencing and learning all about the job of a firefighter.
FIREFIGHTER CAMP is learning firefighting skills and activities that are used by firefighters.
FIREFIGHTER CAMP is fun, exciting, engaging, and interesting.

July 7-10, Tuesday – Friday 9:00 AM – 2:30 PM at Station 2 Breton fire hall, 5620 - 47 street in Breton.
August 18-21, Tuesday – Friday 10:00 AM – 3:30 PM at Station 3 Drayton Valley fire hall, 5120 - 52nd street in Drayton Valley.

Campers can be dropped off at the fire hall between 15 minutes prior to start of camp day and must be picked up no later than 15 minutes after the end of camp day.

To Apply:
Registration Fee is ONLY $50.00 per camper to cover cost of t-shirt, water bottle and snacks.
Application forms can be picked up at:

Drayton Valley / Brazeau County Fire Services 5120 - 52nd Street
Drayton Valley, AB
T7A 1S1

Application deadline June 22th, 2015 at 5:00 PM.
There is limited space available, so don’t delay in submitting your application.
For more information call (780) 514-2216

Feb 2, 2015   -   EMPLOYMENT - Fire Marshall Position - CLOSED

Drayton Valley/Brazeau County
Fire Marshall Position
Full Time Permanent

Reporting to the Deputy Fire Chief (Operations), the Fire Marshall role is to lead, manage, and oversee the Fire Services public education program. The Fire Marshall position includes identifying potential fire hazards through ensuring buildings are in compliance with codes and standards, overseeing the investigations for origin and cause of fires in the Town of Drayton Valley/Brazeau County, managing the fire guardian program, and work in collaboration to oversee our local public education programs.

The Drayton Valley/Brazeau County Fire Service is seeking an energetic and qualified individual for this position who possesses strong leadership, communication, and organizational skills and has a good understanding of fire service administrative and operational requirements.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • High School Grade 12 Diploma
  • NFPA 1001 Level 2, NFPA 472 Operations
  • Safety Code Officer – Fire Discipline (NFPA 1031/1033 Levels Preferred)
  • Fire Service Instructor Qualifications
  • Experience as a Fire Officer in a Leadership Role
  • NFPA 1035 Public Fire and Life Safety Professional an asset

This is a full time position with a competitive salary and benefit package commensurate with the successful applicant’s qualifications and experience.

Qualified applicants are invited to submit a resume, cover letter and references to:

Town of Drayton Valley
Attention: Michelle Nickel
Human Resource Coordinator
Box 6837, 5120-52nd Street
Drayton Valley, AB T7A 1A1
Telephone (780) 514-2200
Fax (780) 542-5753
Email personnel@draytonvalley.ca

Closing date for this opportunity is 4:30 pm local time, Monday February 23rd, 2015

To view complete position description please click Fire Marshal Position.

May 3, 2014   -   Kids Firefighting Camp!


Are you interested in learning about firefighting?
Are you 8 – 12 years of age?
Are you willing to experience new and exciting things
while learning at the same time?


If you answered YES to these questions come join the Drayton Valley / Brazeau County Fire Services for a week of:

July 15-18, 2014 Breton
August 19 – 22, 2014 Drayton Valley

FIREFIGHTER CAMP is 4 days of experiencing and learning all about the job of a firefighter.
FIREFIGHTER CAMP is learning firefighting skills and activities that are used by firefighters.
FIREFIGHTER CAMP is fun, exciting, engaging, and interesting.

July 15-18, Tuesday – Friday 9:00 AM – 2:30 PM at Station 2 Breton fire hall, 5620 - 47 street in Breton.
August 19-22, Tuesday – Friday 10:00 AM – 3:30 PM at Station 3 Drayton Valley fire hall, 5120 - 52nd street in Drayton Valley.

Campers can be dropped off at the fire hall between 15 minutes prior to start of camp day and must be picked up no later than 15 minutes after the end of camp day.

To Apply:
Registration Fee is ONLY $30.00 per camper to cover cost of t-shirt, water bottle and snacks.
Application forms can be picked up at:

Village of Breton Municipal Office
4916 - 50th Ave Box 6685
Breton, AB

Drayton Valley / Brazeau County Fire Services
5120 - 52nd Street
Drayton Valley, AB
T7A 1S1

Application deadline June 30th, 2013 at 5:00 PM.
There is limited space available, so don’t delay in submitting your application.
For more information call (780) 514-2216

Mar 29, 2014   -   New fire department web site

Welcome, after nearly 3 years of running our old web site. Drayton Valley / Brazeau County Fire Services is please to present our new website design. We welcome you to leave comments in our Contact Us section and let us know your thoughts and any suggestions you may have to improve the site.

Thank you.

Web Management Team

Feb 24, 2013   -   Summer 2013 Recruitment Campaign Underway!

Drayton Valley/Brazeau County Fire Services' recruitment campaign is underway for part-time/paid on-call members at stations 1, 2 and 3.  Anticipated staffing levels for each station  are as follows:

  • Station 1, Lodgepole: 5 positions
  • Station 2, Breton: 2 positions
  • Station 3, Drayton Valley: 6 positions

Benifits of becoming a member of Drayton Valley/Brazeau County Fire Services are:

  • NFPA 1001 Level I and Level II Professional Firefighter Certification.
  • Emergency Response Operations.
  • Opportunities to participate in Fire Prevention and Public Education.
  • Advanced Operations Training & Certification.
  • Involvement in community-based events.

Applications can be picked up at Station 3 in Drayton Valley or click on "Start Here" on the DVBCFS main page.  Applications are being accepted for the Summer recruitment class and should be dropped off at Station 3 in Drayton Valley with attention made to DVBCFS Human Resources. 

Applicants must be a minimum of 18 years of age and be able to provide a Criminal Record Check and Driver's Abstract (five (5) year), holding a valid Alberta Class 5 Operator's License. 

Any questions can be answered by calling 780-514-2216.

May 13, 2012   -   Total Fire Ban Issued

As of May 13, 2012 Brazeau County and the Drayton Valley / Brazeau County Fire Services have issued a Total Fire Ban for Brazeau County and the Town of Drayton Valley.

A total fire ban occurs when the fire hazard in the area is Very High to extreme. Large erratic-behaving wildfires can start quickly and spread extremely fast through dry grass or slash. This type of fire could escalate with any type of wind. NO OUTDOOR BURNING IS TO TAKE PLACE DURING A TOTAL FIRE BAN.

For more information please call 780-514-2216.

May 7, 2012   -   Fire services briefs

By Courtney Whalen - Western Review Drayton Valley


No one was seriously injured in any of the three motor vehicle collisions members of the Drayton Valley/Brazeau County Fire Services were called to between Apr. 25 and May 2.

Two of the collisions occurred in the Town of Drayton Valley while the other collision happened at Range Road 71 and Twp. Road 474.

Firefighters also responded to reports of a grass fire that, on further investigation turned out to be a permitted brush fire. Fire Chief Tom Thomson said someone noticed the smoke from a distance away and called the fire services. At this time of year when so many people are beginning to burn Thomson said if possible it’s helpful for residents to investigate a little further before contacting the fire services in case it is a controlled burn.

The fire services also responded to an alarm at a commercial business, which turned out to be false.


Despite some rain last week a fire advisory remains in effect for the Town of Drayton Valley and Brazeau County.

“We would need a significant amount of rain to bring it down,” said Fire Chief Tom Thomson.

The fire advisory means the risk of wildfire is moderate to high and that people should be aware of the risk of fires spreading quickly. Burning is only permitted with a permit or in approved fire pits or appliances. Residents are reminded to never leave a fire unattended.


Now that the snow is gone, hopefully for good, thoughts are turning to activities, including firing up the outdoor deep fryer. While the results of the deep fry may be delicious Fire Chief Tom Thomson said there are also a number of potential dangers associated with the activity.

“They can tip over very easily, they can overheat and they can splash hot oil everywhere,” he noted last week.

There is a risk of serious burns or fire if some precautions aren’t taken.

Thomson said use of the deep fryer should always be done outside on a flat surface, well away from buildings and any flammable material. Never use the deep fryer on a wooden deck, in a garage, under an awning or in any enclosed space.

Always be cautious not to overfill the pot with oil to limit the chances of it overflowing. Placing frozen or half-frozen items in the hot oil can also cause a spill as the water vapour mixes with the oil. Be sure items are thawed before throwing them in the fryer.

An overflowing deep fryer doesn’t just cause a mess. If the oil spills onto the burner it can also cause a fire. If the oil heats too much it can also ignite. Since most outdoor deep fryers don’t have thermostat controls that is something that needs to be monitored.

“It’s a very dangerous scenario,” said Thomson.

A deep fryer that’s in use should never be left unattended and children and pets should be kept away from the area. To avoid burns from hot oil the person in charge of the deep fryer should use insulated oven mitts when handling the pot and taking items in and out. Long sleeves and pants should also be worn, noted Thomson.

It’s a good idea to have a Class ABC fire extinguisher nearby in case of fire. If a fire extinguisher isn’t handy baking soda can be used. Water should never be used on a fire with oil. If a fire does occur Thomson said the fire services should be called immediately.

Western Review Article may be viewed by clicking here

Sep 19, 2011   -   Fire services briefs

By Lesley Allan - Western Review Drayton Valley

Motor home blaze

On Sept. 7 Drayton Valley/Brazeau County Fire Services responded to a motor home fire on Hwy. 39 and R.R. 64 at approximately 2:30 p.m. Upon fire service's arrival the home was fully involved and had some propane tanks that were venting. To avoid any further problems the highway was shut down, reopening when things were under control and it was safe to do so.

Truck fire

At 7:40 in the evening on Sept. 7 Drayton Valley/Brazeau County Fire Services were called to the scene of a fire, on Hwy. 22 north toward township 502. A tractor-trailer carrying poplar wood chips caught fire after a line rupture leaked onto the break drums.


A collision between a tractor-trailer and passenger vehicle brought Drayton Valley/Brazeau County Fire Services out to junction of 22 and 39 on the morning of Sept. 16. The incident cut down the highway to one lane, but no serious injuries were reported.


Another early morning collision resulted in one fatality after a passenger vehicle collided with a moose on Hwy. 39 at R.R. 52.More information on the accident will be released once next of kin is contacted.

Local fire fighters honoured

On Sept. 14 three members of Brazeau County Fire Services, were awarded the Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal by the Lieutenant Governor of Canada. Director of Protective Services Sheldon Fuson, District Chief Darcy McGregor and Deputy Chief Spencer Ross received the national award as members of the Alberta fire service who have served their communities for a minimum of 20 years and have gone above and beyond the call of duty.

"It was a huge honour for us," says Drayton Valley/Brazeau County Fire Services Fire Chief Tom Thomson. "That medal is difficult to get, it's given out for exemplary service so for us to have three people from our department receive it, it was quite a thrill and quite an honour."

Western Review Article may be viewed by clicking here

Sep 12, 2011   -   Fire services briefs

By Courtney Whalen - Western Review Drayton Valley


Between Aug. 30 and Sept. 7 the Drayton Valley/Brazeau County Fire Services received a total of eight calls for service, including two incidents where STARS Air Ambulance was also called in.

On Sept. 1 members spent close to eight hours at the site of an industrial fire at a rig site northwest of Lodgepole. Also on that day there was a single vehicle rollover on Hwy. 621 where STARS had to be called in to airlift a patient.

STARS was called out again on Sept. 2 to the Drayton Valley Municipal Airport when a person was injured during set up for the Thunder in the Valley drag races. The fire services were called to the scene to assist with establishing a landing zone for the air ambulance.

A few days later, on Sept. 4 the fire services responded to a call for a large bonfire within the town limits, which was in violation of town bylaws.

There were only minor injuries reported on Sept. 5 when firefighters responded to a two vehicle motor vehicle collision. The fire services also had the report of a gas alarm that day, which turned out to be false.

A fuel spill on Sept. 6 was called in to the fire services when gas from a jerry can was leaking onto the exhaust pipe of a vehicle.

Traffic was delayed on Hwy. 39 in the afternoon of Sept. 7 after members of the fire services were called to the report of a motorhome on fire on the side of the highway at Range Road 64. RCMP was also on scene to assist with traffic, which was down to one lane for a period of time in the afternoon.


Members of the Drayton Valley/Brazeau County Fire Services and their colleagues from area fire departments were on hand at the Drayton Valley Rotary Club's Thunder in the Valley event over the Labour Day weekend.

Fire Chief Tom Thomson said firefighters are required to be on hand throughout the event to provide fire suppression services both on the track and in the surrounding event area, if needed. They are also responsible for extricating drivers involved in collisions and collision clean up.

"The races cannot run if we're not there," said Thomson.

He said it was a relatively quiet weekend for firefighters on scene with only one collision on the opening night of the event.


Last week Drayton Valley/Brazeau County Fire Services welcomed its third class of high school students into Station No. 3 in Drayton Valley. This semester 11 students are enrolled in the high school firefighting course. The course, which was introduced last year, is a partnership between the fire services, Wild Rose Public Schools and Frank Maddock High School.

"We're excited that this is our second full year of doing the program," said Fire Chief Tom Thomson.

He said at first the latest group of students was more reserved than those who had come before them, but they soon started to relax on their first day at the fire station.

"There was excitement you could see in their faces once they got down on the floor looking at the equipment and getting their gear," said Thomson.


Two members of the Drayton Valley/Brazeau County Fire Services recently took part in the Scott FireFit Championships in Edmonton that happened over the Labour Day weekend.

Firefighters Tyler Heathcote and Scott MacKenzie represented the local fire department well, said Fire Chief Tom Thomson.."

Western Review Article may be viewed by clicking here

Sep 6, 2011   -   Fire services briefs

By Courtney Whalen - Western Review Drayton Valley


Of the five calls the Drayton Valley/Brazeau County Fire Services responded to between Aug. 25 and Aug. 31 four of them were motor vehicle collisions.

However, the time period started with members responding to reports of a propane tank that was on fire. Crews were on the scene of the propane tank fire located on Blaze Energy Road for approximately seven hours. Assistant Fire Chief John McDermott said the fire was a "significant incident."

The fire services responded to three more calls on Aug. 27, all of those motor vehicle collisions, including a single vehicle rollover on Twp. Road 494, a two-vehicle MVC in Brazeau County and a gravel truck rollover on Hwy. 22 in the vicinity of the Drayton Valley Golf Club. On Aug. 30 firefighters responded to a single vehicle collision out at the Brazeau Dam.

Members of Station No. 2 in Breton were called to a single vehicle rollover of a gravel truck on Hwy. 20. One person was sent to hospital in that incident.


On Aug. 27 14 members of the local Red Knights Motorcycle Club, made up primarily of members of the fire services, headed out for the Red Knights Run in support of the Lesser Slave Regional Fire Services. Riders carried with them a donation of $3,000 for their colleagues in Slave Lake.

John McDermott, assistant fire chief with the Drayton Valley/Brazeau County Fire Services, said the ride was an "awesome" experience.

Riders left from Drayton Valley and made their way to Slave Lake where they were met by Lesser Slave Regional Fire Services Deputy Chief Todd Whitby at Fire Station No. 1, located right in the Town of Slave Lake.

While in the area Whitby showed the Red Knights riders photos and maps of the scope of the devastation from the wildfires that ripped through the area in May. A tour of some of the demolished neighbourhoods followed. McDermott said images seen in print and on television didn't do justice to what the riders saw during their tour. He said it was sobering to walk through neighbourhoods where really the only things really left are sidewalks and roads.

"For everybody there it was a pretty sobering thought that this could have been any town in Alberta," he said, noting at the time much of the province was experiencing the same extremely dry conditions.

Months into the rebuilding and recovery process McDermott said the Lesser Slave Regional Fire Service is basically back to business as usual, but they were happy to welcome their colleagues from Drayton Valley and accept the financial donation to their organization.

"They were happy to see us. They were humbled by what we did for them," said McDermott. "But to us it was just a small thing because we weren't able to go up and physically help."

Western Review Article may be viewed by clicking here

Aug 30, 2011   -   Fire services briefs

By Courtney Whalen - Western Review Drayton Valley


A local home was burned beyond saving last week and the investigation into the cause of the blaze is ongoing.

Drayton Valley/Brazeau County Fire Services were called to the report of a structure fire around 5:30 a.m. on Aug. 24 at a home on Range Road 73 (the Ring Road).

Assistant Fire Chief John McDermott said no one was home at the time of the fire, but crews were unable to save the structure.

"We've started the investigation and we're still actively working in it," said McDermott last week.


Aug. 18 was a busy day for the Drayton Valley/Brazeau County Fire Services.

A power outage resulted in one false alarm call. Also that day Station No. 2 in Breton received a call about a venting nitrogen tank. Investigation revealed that a local company was doing a controlled venting of a nitrogen tank and the fire department wasn't required.

Members of Station No. 3 in Drayton Valley were required to help with traffic control at the intersection of Hwy. 22 and Hwy. 621 on Aug. 18 for a fuel spill. The fire services dealt with traffic while an area company handled the actual spill.

On Aug. 22 the fire services were called to the report of a pedestrian being struck by a vehicle, however members called off when it became clear theyir assistance wasn't needed


Last weekend approximately 20 firefighters who are member of Alberta chapters of the Red Knights Motorcycle Club made a trip to Slave Lake.

The bikers made the trek in order to visit with their colleagues in Slave Lake, which was ravaged by fire earlier this year, and present the Slave Lake Firefighters Society with a donation of more than $2,500.

Drayton Valley/Brazeau County Fire Services Assistant Fire Chief John McDermott said he has been in contact with the chief and deputy chief of the Lesser Slave Regional Fire Service and both are excited about the visit from their colleagues. The visiting Red Knights will have the chance to visit with members of the fire services and see some of the damages left by the wildfire in Slave Lake and the surrounding area.

"From east to west we'll get a good appreciation for what the devastation was," said McDermott.

Western Review Article may be viewed by clicking here

Aug 9, 2011   -   Fire services briefs

By Votham Anastasiadis - Western Review Drayton Valley


The Drayton Valley/Brazeau County Fire Services responded to eight calls over the last week.

The recent power outages the area has been experiencing were responsible for five out of the eight calls, which were false alarms due to power failures that triggered alarm systems.

A vapour leak was called in that was coming from a tanker truck, though it was a bit of a false alarm. The nitrogen was taken care of by proper ventilation.

A report of a transformer that had exploded near Lodgepole was answered by the fire services but did not require their services because a power company dealt with the issue.


The Drayton Valley/Brazeau County Fire Services responded to a carbon monoxide leak at a local business in town. A faulty hot water tank was to blame for the above average levels of carbon monoxide, which set off their security system.

The businesses' carbon monoxide detector was hooked up to their security system. This link was a large reason the results were so positive says fire chief, Tom Thomson.

The local business had been open all day, until about six in the evening. About half an hour later the alarm detected the problem and help was on the way. Thomson says that this is a dangerous thing and that it must be treated in a serious manner when an alarm has been set because of its silent nature.

"This example could have been dangerous in the fact that the manager of the facility went back into the building trying to shut the alarm off not realizing it was a real alarm, so when it would not shut off and kept reactivating he knew it was more serious," says Thomson.

He emphasizes that individuals should not be entering a building with an alarm that has been triggered without informing the authorities.

The gas to the hot water tank had to be shut off and the ventilation process had to be completed before employees and patrons returned.

The first signs of carbon monoxide poisoning are headaches, feeling sick and dizzy. Thomson warns that the gas can render you unconscious at high levels and to enter situations with the risk of carbon monoxide with extreme caution.


Fire Prevention Week will be taking place in October and the Drayton Valley/Brazeau Fire Services has a good start on the organization for the program.

Many of the components of the fire prevention program will remain the same as in previous years, such as the poster contest, fire chief for the day, and an in class fire extinguisher lesson.

A few new initiatives will be launched for the programs, firefighter trading cards are a new addition for the younger children who participate in the program.

In addition the Drayton Valley/Brazeau Fire Services is hoping to answer the need of road safety. Fire Chief Tom Thomson says that all the collisions over the last several months need attention. They are looking to launch a high school driving safety program.

Western Review Article may be viewed by clicking here

Jul 25, 2011   -   Fire services briefs

By Courtney Whalen - Western Review Drayton Valley



A Drayton Valley home sustained smoke and heat damage after a fire on July 15. Drayton Valley/Brazeau County Fire Services received the call Friday morning of a possible structure fire. When firefighters arrived they discovered the fire was centred in one room of the home. No one was home at the time, as the residents had just left to go out of town. Deputy Fire Chief Murray Galavan said the fire was quickly contained and in fact carried more heat than actual flame.

The local fire services believe the fire was caused by faulty electrical equipment in the home.


Two people were sent to hospital after a single vehicle collision on July 15.

Emergency services were called to the scene of the single vehicle rollover around 11 p.m. on Hwy. 621. Both occupants of the vehicle were taken to hospital for treatment.


In addition to the house fire and collision Drayton Valley/Brazeau County Fire Services had five other calls between July 13 and July 20. All of those additional calls turned out to be false alarms.


Work on a proposal to build the Western College of Emergency Services in the local area is moving forward. The project, which has already received initial support from both the Town of Drayton Valley and Brazeau County, is now in Phase II of development. Proponents are now looking at getting firm costs for the project and scouting possible locations.


Deputy Fire Chief Murray Galavan is reminding the public that fireworks are prohibited in the Town of Drayton Valley and require a permit in Brazeau County.

Drayton Valley has a bylaw in place that prohibits the sale, storage and setting off of fireworks within the town boundary. Fireworks are also prohibited for sale in Brazeau County.

Galavan said small sparklers, such as those that can be used on birthday cakes are allowed, but firecrackers such as Roman Candles are prohibited.

"It's a peace disturbance and also, after they've exploded they do not know where those embers go," he said, noting properties have been started on fire from firework embers before.

The Town of Drayton Valley does set off fireworks on July 1, but they have a permit and trained professionals set off those fireworks, said Galavan.

 Western Review Article may be viewed by clicking here