A few local residents and kids get the full-meal deal tour of the new rescue at practice on May 9, a firefighters show off the new scene light tower and the spacious interior and cabinets. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

Fire department so excited about new rescue unit

Brand new custom unit a tremendous step up for Bashaw Fire

The long wait for an improved rescue unit finally came to an end earlier this month.

On May 4, the Bashaw Fire Department was at last able to take delivery of its brand new fire rescue truck that was ordered last year and everyone is pretty impressed.

“After nearly four years since we started fundraising, seeing the new truck arrive is a huge success for the department and is a great step forward,” explained Bashaw Fire Chief Mike Andriatz.

“It provides for safe transport of personnel, is more efficient with lots of space available for equipment and will definitely save costs on maintenance. The old unit was costing a lot of money to repair just to keep in service these past few years.”

The vehicle — which was purchased from Ontario-based Front Line Emergency Vehicles for just over $152,000 — is a Dodge Ram 5500 4×4 four-door crew cab chassis with a customized rear cabinet body attached. In addition, the rescue has an aggressive push bar and 12,000 pound winch on the front to go along with new LED emergency light package and a high-powered remote controlled 360 degree LED retractable light tower.

It can transport five firefighters and will roll to any call the department receives as it carries all of the medical first responder equipment. That includes all equipment needed for vehicle extrication and scene safety at motor vehicle collisions and can operate as a scene command unit.

Originally, the department was hoping to find a used rescue truck to purchase and refurbish. However, when the search began last summer, it quickly became clear that it would be very tough to go that route.

“Any of the used units we were looking at were getting snapped up very quickly and would’ve cost more due to the exchange rate,” Andriatz stated.

“So that’s why we were so excited when this great deal came across and that Camrose County stepped up with their great assistance to get this purchase completed.”

More than half of the price — nearly $78,000 — was paid for courtesy the fundraising done by the fire department, an amazing feat for such a small rural community.

“We did this through our pancake breakfasts, many raffles, doing event bartending and from the generousity of nearly everyone in the community,” said Andriatz.

“Almost every organization, business and group in Bashaw made a donation to a project that brought us as a department together and the community to reach a goal that will benefit everyone. Thank you.”

Major donors

While the Bashaw Fire Department wanted to make sure all donations were acknowledged, Andriatz made sure to recognize those that contributed significantly to the project including: $10,000 – Rahr Malting; $5,000 – Battle River Community Foundation, Bashaw Health and Wellness Foundation; $3,000 – Ember Resources, Royal Purple; $2,500 – Bashaw Thrift Shop; and, $2,000 – Bashaw Elks, Bashaw Royal Canadian Legion.

 

Bashaw’s new rescue unit includes a big pull-through storage cabinet for a variety of large tools and other equipment that can be accessed from either side, as well as have the tray pulled out to gain easy access to items. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

The new red rescue is a lot more compact and maneuverable, with more and convenient storage, than the previous unit. Photos by Jordie Dwyer

Just one of the spacious custom cabinets, this one containing the department’s medical response equipment, allows easy access and better storage.

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