The Eckville Fire Department saw an average number of calls come to the department this past year.
Fire Chief Stuart Carde presented a delegation to council on Jan. 27 and reported a total number of 42 calls over the course of 2019.
“That’s about average, maybe down a little bit, we usually have anywhere from 40 to mid-60’s with our department, we’ll credit that to fire prevention,” said Carde, “people just being aware I suppose and being a little more careful on the road which is great.”
The report summary shows 12 of the calls were for in town incidents with the other 30 being out in the county.
Carde explained 13 per cent of the man hours were spent in town, while the other 87 per cent were spent in the county for a total of 722 man hours.
Last year the department responded to a variety of calls including motor vehicle collisions, grass fires, electrical hazmat incidents, vehicle fires and for EMS assistance.
The department also were onsite of three structure fires in the county, as well as one structure fire in town.
Membership, according to Carde, is stable with 17 members part of the department currently.
He added the numbers do not drop below 16, as some drop for life related situations others are there to join.
“One thing I’d like to commend everybody on is our level of training is top notch,” said Carde. “We’re right on top of our training and that’s the same training that you would take in Red Deer or Calgary Fire or New York City.”
“It’s a standard for North America, so very proud of the guys for committing time for that and achieving those levels.”
During the meeting Carde also took the opportunity to ask council to supply members with at least 10 years of service with the full tunic uniform, which includes a jacket and pants that can be worn at events such as parades, funerals and award ceremonies.
Three members of the Eckville Fire Department has surpassed the 10 year mark, with one approaching a total of 20 years in fire services. That achievement makes him eligible for the Federal Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal.
The Provincial Emergency Services Medals are given out after 12 years of service.
“10 years is a milestone, you’re halfway to your long service career,” Carde said of his proposal.
Later in the meeting council did vote to purchase the full tunic uniform for the three members for a total cost of $3,000.
Mayor Helen Posti said she is impressed by the number of members who have put a high number of years into the department.
“I think most people realize how important this service is and the fact that people are willing to give up the time … it’s a big commitment,” said Posti.