Summer feels as though it is here already and as usual for this time of year our number of calls has increased:
On April 23 at 5:52 p.m. the BFD was called to a medical assist at a shop in Bentley. A tenant in the living quarters above was complaining of inhaling possible diesel fumes. The patient was in EMS' care so the apartment was investigated for elevated levels of noxious gases. No unsafe readings were reported on the monitors so firefighters cleared the scene.
Shortly after 5 p.m. on April 27 eleven members were sent as Mutual Aid to Lacombe FD for a vehicle fire in their area. Crews were stood down en-route as Lacombe had the situation handled.
At 11:16 a.m. on April 28 a call came in of an outside fire north of Bentley near Rimbey. A very large grassy area near the house had caught fire and travelled toward the river, igniting a straw pile in its path. Fortunately, winds were low and moving away from the buildings. Eckville FD was called in as Mutual Aid and we thank them for their quick assistance. The homeowners had some of the fire contained and crews managed to bring the rest under control. Once it had burned down to a smouldering pile the scene was turned over to the homeowner, who was given further instructions.
At 2:30 in the morning of April 29 sixteen members raced to the scene of a structure fire in Bentley. Lacombe was called in as Mutual Aid, then stood down once crews learned what the issue was. A passerby on the street noticed the front left side of the attached garage was ablaze and alerted the sleeping family who evacuated immediately. The homeowner put out the fire with a garden hose and when firefighters arrived they used the thermal imaging camera to find hot spots which were then extinguished. Crews assisted the owner with disabling power to the garage until an electrician could be contacted and the home fully inspected.
On May 1 at 10:29 a.m. eight members were sent to an accident on Highway #20 north of Rainy Creek Road. A witness following the accident vehicle had watched it swerving onto the gravelled shoulder before hitting the ditch and colliding with a long stretch of guardrail on the east side. The patient appeared in and out of consciousness and was cared for until EMS arrival. Traffic control was meanwhile set up for safety and to assist RCMP who were conducting their investigation.
At 8:45 in the morning on May 3 another MVA occurred on Highway #20, north of RR 41-0. A truck towing a fully-loaded dump trailer was travelling southbound and had left the road, ending up in the west ditch. The trailer detached from the truck and rolled, ending up upside-down. The truck was quickly stabilized, and the driver was carefully extricated and turned over to the care of EMS. The highway traffic was managed safely while other crews cleaned up the roadway before being released from the scene.
On May 9 yet another single-vehicle accident was reported, this time on Rainy Creek Road east of RR 2-0. A westbound vehicle had left the road and ended up on its driver's side in the east ditch. The driver had self-extricated and was in EMS' care so crews set up traffic control until they were released by the RCMP.
At 10:16 a.m. on May 15 an alarms call from a rural residence was received. Crews were stood down by the homeowner, through the alarm company. Confirmed false alarm.
And in the early morning hours of May 17 fifteen members raced to a structure fire in Lacombe's area. Two buildings were fully involved so Bentley and Lacombe set up ponds at the rural location and spent several hours shuttling water with their Tenders and fighting the blaze. The two residents had made it out, along with several dogs. They were sent to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. Several dogs were discovered outside and were scooped up and taken to the family's relatives to be cared for. Four horses in a pen nearby were kept safe from the smoke while other firefighters salvaged what could be saved. Bentley crews were eventually released from the scene and made their way back to the hall, where more cleanup work awaited. Trucks, equipment and clothing all needed serious attention before they could be put back into service.