Firefighters make Castlegar proud in RDKB response; will do so again at Firefighter Games this weekend
Castlegar fire chief Gerry Rempel has fabulous bragging rights after a request for assistance last weekend from the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary.
“When it (the US Stickpin wildfire looming perilously close to the Canadian border and threatening Grand Forks and Christina Lake) was declared an emergency, it became a provincial response,” Rempel explained. “The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) requested our attendance.”
The request was for one pumper and one crew of four firefighters – Rempel himself went with the first crew, who mustered at the Castlegar Fire Hall Friday morning at 3 a.m. to prepare to depart for Grand Forks. They then worked 12-hour days (a day shift and a night shift), standing guard 24 hours a day to protect structures and communities in the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary from flying embers brought to Canada by heavily gusting winds. Five crews in all worked through the weekend until changing weather patterns ended the danger and crews were sent home Sunday.
It’s worth noting that all Castlegar firefighters with the exception of the chief and two deputy chiefs, are volunteers, with other jobs and responsibilities.
Also on hand were crews from Creston, Kaslo, Pass Creek, Warfield and Trail.
“I also want to assure people there were sufficient numbers of firefighters here in Castlegar to handle calls for service, which were numerous during that period,” Rempel said.
When asked if he had any difficulties rounding up enough people for that much coverage, Rempel said not at all.
“In fact, we had to pick and choose which (firefighters) got to go,” he said. “They all stepped up to the plate, pronto.”
And as if all that weren’t enough, some of our Castlegar team are gearing up to make us proud again this weekend, at the International Firefighter Games in Robson, which offers tons of fun events, entertainment, concessions, and is all to raise money to fight Muscular Dystrophy (for more information, visit http://firefightergames.ca/ or check them out on Facebook at https://www.google.com/search?q=firefighter+games+robson&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8