Bentley District Fire Department

Volunteer | Dedication | Perserverance

The Bentley District Fire Department is comprised of 17 committed volunteers, dedicated to serving our community. Since its establishment, the Bentley Fire Department has continued to preserve the safety and security of community members within its 1000 sq km area district. From fighting fires, to medical emergency responses, and motor vehicle accidents, our volunteers are highly trained and experienced to react and aid in many emergency situations. Training every Monday night as well as some weekends and responding to over 70 emergency calls per year, the Bentley District Fire Department's volunteers devote their lives to helping others.

This past month has been an extraordinary one as all six emergencies have been electrical hazard calls:

On May 24 a violent storm passed through Lacombe County wreaking havoc on buildings, fences and especially power poles and lines. Fire Departments were kept desperately busy County-wide and Bentley was no exception

  • The first of five calls that day came in at 3:34 pm from the Summer Village of Gull Lake with reports of multiple power lines down. Fortis was alerted and BFD members secured the affected area while awaiting their arrival. Firefighters were released and the scene was turned over to the area foreman.
  • Midway through the first call another was received with a report of a tree falling across a power line, this time on Highway #12 and RR 2-0. Five members investigated, the utility company was notified and this event was deemed a non-emergency which could be dealt with later as many more calls were waiting;
  • At 4:17 pm another tree was reportedly down on another power line, this time in Bentley near the library. The caller had remained on the scene and had seen sparks issuing from the line but fortunately no one had been injured.
  • At 5:01 pm a passerby called in that yet another batch of trees had come down taking a power line with it. This one occurred on Aspelund Road near RR 1-1. The line was apparently down near a water source so extra caution was exercised.
  • And the last call of the afternoon came at 7:06 pm with yes, you guessed it, another tree down on a power line, this one close to a home on a rural property just east of town. No one had been injured but the large tree had been completely uprooted taking the overhead line with it. The line had started sparking as the power returned so again the utility company was notified and the area kept clear.
  • On May 31 at 4:48 pm another electrical hazard was reported, this time on Twp Rd 41-2, west of Hwy #20. Nine members were sent to investigate a downed live power pole in the north ditch encroaching onto the roadway. By this time an impressive thunderstorm was in full swing making life interesting. Soggy firefighters closed the road in both directions so Fortis and their backup could de-energize the line and remove the downed pole.

We at the Fire Department had a lot of fun with Bentley's two Kindergarten classes which came to visit at the end of June. We hope you enjoyed your tour and learned some interesting safety tips. Thank you for being such well-behaved young people, it was a pleasure to have you visit!

This past month has been a quiet one for your fire department with only two calls to report:

  •  At 6am on April 5 a call was received of an outside fire at a residence in town. When crews arrived it was discovered a vehicle was on fire in a parking area off the back alley of the home. The resident had been working on the vehicle when it ignited and attempted to extinguish it, then 911 was called for further help. The car was fully engulfed and threatening buildings and vehicles very close by, it was knocked down and finally extinguished with water and foam. Fortunately no one was injured.
  • On April 11 at 6:17pm ten members responded to a call for a large outside fire northwest of Bentley. A large area of smoke was visible from quite a distance away. Firefighters arrived on scene and spoke with the landowner who was on the scene monitoring the controlled burn. A valid permit was in place, crews left the burn in the care of the owner.
Steve Dojahn (on right)

Steve Dojahn (on right)

We would like to introduce three new members on the Bentley District Fire Department;
Jonathan Weeks, Steve Dojahn and Adrian Scheling
Thank you for your commitment gentlemen, we are happy to have you on board! 

Jonathan Weeks (on left)

Jonathan Weeks (on left)

Adrian Scheling

Adrian Scheling

Your fire department has been called out to seven incidents in the past month:

  • At 9:01 pm on March 1st members responded to a call of alarms ringing on RR 28-1 near Woody Nook Church. The tenant in the home explained that the CO detector was activating. The gas meter was used to check for elevated levels of carbon monoxide. None was found so further investigation revealed the battery back-up in the wired-in detector was dead. A new CO detector was left with the resident.
  • On March 5 at 9:12 am a call came in of a 2-vehicle accident at highways #12 and #20. A northbound semi with loaded trailer and an eastbound car had collided in the intersection. Both drivers were out of their respective vehicles, traffic control was quickly established in all four directions. Both patients were cared for until arrival of EMS. One patient was taken to hospital. RCMP meanwhile investigated the scene and once they were finished the highways were cleaned up and one vehicle was towed.
  • Midafternoon on March 5 six members were sent to a Bentley residence where alarms were ringing. Firefighters were stood down once it was established that a nice hot steamy shower had triggered the touchy alarm.
  • An hour later, at 4:02 pm a call was received of a snowmobile accident on Gull Lake near the Wooden Shoe. Lacombe Fire Department was called in as Mutual Aid to assist Bentley with a middle aged patient who had gotten ejected from the machine onto hard packed snow. Firefighters moved the patient, who was suffering from shoulder, arm and leg injuries, from the frozen lake to the ambulance waiting on the shore.
  • At 5:26 pm on March 16 members were sent to an outside fire on Highway #20 and Centreview Road. Smoke had been reported by a passerby so crews investigated and found a single large bale being burned. A burn permit was in place and it was being monitored so firefighters left the scene in charge of the landowner.
  • Shortly before 2 pm on March 18 a Citizen Assist call came in. With the recent warm temperatures a Bentley residence basement was flooding. A trench was carved out of the ice to divert the flow and water was pumped away from the low area alongside the house. 
  • And on March 19 at 12:21 pm eleven members were dispatched to a rural residence north of town with reports of an explosion on the property. Mutual Aid was promptly requested from Lacombe, but they were stood down once the situation was understood and managed. A single detached garage was missing its overhead door which had been blown free from the blast. It appeared natural gas had built up inside the structure. Fortunately no one had been in it at the time. A fire in the garage had resulted, but the homeowner had managed to put it out using an extinguisher. The gas smell was strong in and around the structure and the gas sniffer was used to help determine the levels. GLDC was notified and a rep quickly arrived at the scene. The new home was thoroughly checked as well before leaving the scene in the hands of GLDC personnel.

So far your Fire Department was sent to five incidents this month:

  • On February 6 at 11:10 am BFD members were sent to an alarms ringing call west of town. Response time was somewhat hampered due to crews being sent to the wrong address. Once this problem was rectified members arrived to a seasonal home in the Palm Bay subdivision on Sylvan Lake. Alarms had ceased ringing by this time and the homeowner's parents met firefighters at the property to investigate. No sign of fire, smoke or other issues were discovered, so the owners were advised to speak with their alarm provider.
  • On February 8 at 11:36 am five members were sent once again to the intersection of Highways #12 and #20. Another westbound vehicle and a southbound one had collided, sending both of them flying into the southwest ditch. Three patients were cared for on-scene until EMS arrival and traffic was carefully controlled while an accident reconstructionist investigated.
  • Shortly after 6 pm that same day eight members were sent on a Mutual Aid call to assist Lacombe with a structure fire on a rural property in their area. Firefighters from Bentley, Blackfalds and Clive joined forces with Lacombe to help battle the blaze and shuttle water in their Tenders to the scene, located east of Lacombe on Highway #12. Fortunately the tenants made it to safety, but the house was completely destroyed. Firefighters worked for several hours to make sure the fire was completely out and did not spread to the many trees, trailers and vehicles very close by.
  • Shortly after 6:30 am on February 10 a call was received of a vehicle fire in Lake Trail Estates in Bentley. Lacombe's fire department was immediately dispatched to assist as such a fire may very quickly ignite the surrounding homes. Nine members arrived to find a car in the homeowner's driveway completely engulfed. The fire was quickly knocked down using water and foam and Lacombe was stood down en route once the situation was deemed under control. A bit of damage was sustained to the siding of the mobile but everyone involved was unhurt. The interior of the home was checked with the thermal imaging camera to ensure no heat or fire had travelled through the walls.
  • On February 18 at 7:11 pm a call of an outside fire was received, immediately after the power outage. Ten members were sent west of town on Highway #12 to Range Road #2-1. A fire had been spotted in the area and crews were sent to investigate. The area was narrowed down to a flare stack at a compressor station where the battery operator met firefighters and explained it was most likely a buildup of gas due to the power outage, which triggered the auto flare. It was no longer flaring upon arrival.

We would like to remind homeowners, tenants and businesses how important it is to know your address. It ensures emergency services can arrive to your property as quickly as possible without unnecessary delay, which is frustrating for all involved. Please ensure your security and alarm companies are given accurate information and all your family members are well informed.

Your department was sent to five incidents in the month of January:

  • On New Year's Day eleven members were sent to a vehicle fire on the frozen Blindman River, off Highway #20 just south of Highway #12. A group of 3 people had been enjoying their ATVs when one side by side erupted in flames. Firefighters extinguished the blaze and the vehicle was removed from the river.
  • At 3:33 pm on January 5 crews responded to a 2-vehicle accident on RR 28-2 near the Wooden Shoe. All those involved were out of the vehicles and mobile, but were checked over by EMS while firefighters controlled traffic. Once the vehicles were removed from the scene the highway was cleaned of fluid spills and the roadway reopened.
  • Again on January 5, immediately after the first accident, crews were sent to another MVA just down the road from the first, on old Highway #12 and RR 1-1. A southbound vehicle and an eastbound one had collided at the intersection, causing considerable damage. Again, all occupants were out of their cars, one person was transported by ambulance to hospital. The highway traffic had to be managed in the fading light until the vehicles were removed.
  • On January 11 at 1:57 pm members were called to assist Lacombe with a structure fire at a business in their city. Crews were stood down upon arrival as Lacombe had the incident under control.
  • At 4:21 pm on January 19 eight members responded to another MVA, this time at the intersection os Hwys #12 and #20. Firefighters were requested by the RCMP to assist with traffic control at the scene which involved two vehicles. Crews obliged to safely manage the traffic during the busy evening hour and were released once the affected vehicles were towed away.

Your fire department enjoyed hosting an Ice Rescue course on January 14 and 15. Bentley instructors taught the theory portion at the fire hall, then the fun of putting it all into practice was enjoyed at Sandy Point where a hole was cut into the ice and various rescue techniques were enacted. A beautiful day was enjoyed outdoors and new skills were learned by firefighters from Ponoka and Bentley. 

This past month has been an incredibly quiet one with only two incidents:

  •  At 10:12 am on December 2, five members were called to assist EMS at a rural residence. CPR was being administered to a patient at the home and firefighters took turns alongside the paramedics to try and revive the patient who unfortunately passed away.
  • December 11 at 3:49 pm a call came in of a snowmobiler who had been seen crossing Gull Lake and appeared to have gone through the ice. The concerned witness called 911 and crews from Bentley and Lacombe fire departments, along with RCMP, were dispatched to Sandy Point and Wilson's Beach to pinpoint a location. Initial investigation revealed no sign of the snowmobile. STARS was requested to conduct a search from the air as sunset was fast approaching. Nothing was discovered at that time and darkness had fallen, so the search was continued the next day by Red Deer County Search and Rescue. No one was found and fortunately no people have been reported missing.

This past year has been nearly as busy as last year with the BFD responding to 84 emergencies between December 1, 2015 and December 1, 2016.

   5 Structure Fire                                   2 Gas Leak  

   16 Outside Fire                                  18 Alarms Ringing

   7 Vehicle Fire                                     2 Watercraft in Distress

   8 Mutual Aid                                       1 Ice Rescue                                             

  16 Motor Vehicle Accident                  9 Medical Assist 

This past month has been a quiet one with your department being called out to four incidents;

  • At 11:54 am on October 20 members responded to another alarms call at the Bentley Care Centre, much the same as the call investigated a few days earlier. Again the residents were evacuated by staff, the air quality monitored by firefighters and the situation re-investigated. Faulty monitoring equipment was discovered and the call declared a non-emergency. The initial call was a gas leak on a cooking appliance. ATCO Gas isolated the gas to the appliance so it could be repaired at that time.
  • On November 11 at 4:45 pm crews were sent to an outside fire southwest of Bentley. A small pile of brush and debris was burning and no one was on the site upon arrival so firefighters extinguished the fire. The landowner arrived shortly thereafter and the scene was left in his care. Please note that under County of Lacombe Bylaw 1208/15 Bylaw, Section 13.3, "No person shall light an Outdoor Fire, Incinerator Fire, Burning Barrel Fire, Recreation Fire, Smudge Fire or Structural Fire without first taking sufficient precaution to ensure the fire can be kept under control at all times." Also note that only untreated wood, grass, leaves etc. may be burned at any time. 
  • At 12:59 am on November 12 members responded to the scene of a 2 vehicle accident on 50th Avenue in Bentley. Two trucks had collided just outside AG Foods causing quite a bit of damage. All occupants were out of the vehicles and walking and were examined by EMS while firefighters rerouted traffic so RCMP could investigate. The scene was then cleaned of spilled fluids, the trucks loaded and towed and the roadway was reopened.
  • And on November 18 at 11 pm twelve members were sent to a vehicle fire on RR 1-0, just south of Highway #12. A passerby had noticed the flames from the highway, quickly investigated and called 911.  A truck was fully involved and crews used water and quite a bit of foam to extinguish the blaze. Fortunately no one was in the vehicle and the immediate area was searched and RCMP was called in to investigate. Thank you to the witness who helpfully stayed until we arrived and could get information.

Your Fire Department wishes you in our community a safe and Merry Christmas! Enjoy this season with friends and family and we look forward to a wonderful 2017!

This past month your fire department has been called out to eight emergencies:

  • On September 19 at 1:01 am ten members responded to an alarms ringing call in Sunbreaker Cove on Sylvan Lake. This was called in by the alarm company. The detector was sounding, but no smoke or fire was visible upon arrival so an investigation was conducted using the TIC. All rooms in the unoccupied home were thoroughly checked before deeming this a false alarm and clearing the scene.
  • At 8:16 am on September 22 eight members were sent to an outside fire at the Sandy Point resort area. A concerned passerby reported seeing smoke in the area, so firefighters quickly investigated what turned out to be a monitored controlled burn of two large brush piles with a burn permit in place.
  • At 2:04 pm that same day members responded to a gas leak call outside a Bentley residence in the southeast area of town. An unmarked idle line had accidentally been torn out of the ground by a construction crew. No one was at home in the closest house, but all residents in neighbouring houses were informed and evacuated. The surrounding roadways were cordoned off and ATCO was called in to rectify the situation, while firefighters helped them gain access to the area they requested, monitored the air quality and remained on scene until all danger of fire or explosion was past. 
  • On October 3 at 8:01 pm a call came in of a vehicle fire at a rural residence south of Bentley. A tractor was reportedly on fire and threatening nearby buildings. Lacombe Fire Department was immediately called in to help, then were stood down upon Bentley's arrival on the scene, which showed the landowners had gotten the fire well under control. Members doused the area to prevent any re-kindles then cleared the scene.
  • Late in the afternoon on October 9 seven crews were sent to a Mutual Aid call to help Lacombe with a structure fire. A shed was fully involved and Engine and Tender were requested. Engine was stood down en route, but Tender attended the scene and was released once the situation was under control.
  • On October 15 at 6:40 pm twelve firefighters raced to Highway #20 and Aspelund Road where two vehicles had collided at high speed in the intersection. Both vehicles ended up in the southwest ditch and three occupants in one vehicle were trapped and had to be cut free. None of those involved appeared to be critically injured, but all were taken by ambulances to hospital. Sadly a dog in one vehicle was ejected during the crash and the much-loved family pet died at the scene.
  • And at 12:28 pm on October 8 crews were dispatched to a call of a structure fire at the Bentley Care Centre. Lacombe Fire was called in as Mutual Aid as a fire in this size of building could be disastrous without adequate manpower. Residents were enjoying their lunch in the dining room when the smoke alarm sounded. Staff went into the kitchen and discovered a very strong gas odour and a hazy environment, so 911 was called and evacuation was promptly initiated. All residents and staff were safely out when firefighters arrived, so they were quickly interviewed then sent to keep safe at the Bentley Elementary School. Kudos to the quick efforts by the staff who practice these emergency measures on a regular basis, well done! ATCO and maintenance workers who service the kitchen appliances were called in to investigate the possible cause and once their investigation was complete the occupants were able to return.

Thanks to all of you in our community who were able to visit our Open House held on October 3. We enjoyed showing off the fire hall, trucks and equipment as well as running some of you willing volunteers through some obstacles!

This past month your fire department has been called out to eight emergencies:

  • At 3 pm on August 22 nine members raced to the scene of an accident on Highways #12 and #20. Two vehicles had collided at the intersection and one person in each vehicle required extrication. The patients were carefully freed and turned over to EMS care while traffic was controlled and RCMP conducted their investigation.
  • Shortly before midnight on August 25 crews were sent to a Bentley residence where alarms were ringing. A fire originating on the stove or in the oven had triggered the smoke alarm and sent the resident running for their home fire extinguisher. The occupant quickly put out the blaze and called 911. BFD members arrived and inspected the home using the TIC (thermal imaging camera) to check for further hot spots. The stove was pulled out, unplugged and the homeowner advised to not use the appliance in its current condition.
  • On September 3 at 2:19 pm eight firefighters were sent to assist Lacombe Fire Department with a structure fire in Morningside. A single family home was fully involved but all occupants were out so a defensive attack was established to prevent the fire from spreading to neighbouring houses. Eight hours were spent in this dirty, sweaty endeavour but fortunately no one was injured. 
  • About suppertime on September 9 a call came in of a watercraft in distress on Sylvan Lake. The boat had become undriveable, either a mechanical issue or simply out of fuel. The boat driver wisely contacted emergency services once a non-emergency had been established and fire crews were stood down.
  • At 2:09 pm on September 10 five members were sent again to the intersection of Highways #12 and #20. Two vehicles had collided, sending one spinning and one flipping several times. Miraculously all occupants were out of their cars and conscious. Lacombe Fire Department was called in to help with traffic while patients were cared for until EMS arrival. Once they were cleared from the scene the roadways were cleaned of fluids and debris and the highways' traffic flow was resumed. 
  • On September 14 at 6:29 pm another alarms call was received at another residence in town. The homeowner was contacted by the alarm company and a false alarm was determined, so the BFD was stood down.
  • At 4:05 pm on September 17 another accident was reported, sending the only 3 available members to Aspelund Road where two vehicles had collided head-on. Sylvan Lake Fire Department was immediately called in to help. The vehicles were safely stabilized while one of the occupants suffering serious injuries was cut free and carefully removed, then loaded into the waiting ambulance. Rush hour traffic was managed throughout the procedure.
  • And on September 18 in the early morning hours another alarms ringing call came in from a Bentley residence. The alarm company contacted the homeowner and discovered that the backyard fire pit had been burning, causing smoke to drift in an open window and trigger the alarm. This was deemed a false alarm.

This past month has been a blissfully quiet one for your department, especially welcome since many of us have been away enjoying an always too-short summer.

  • Shortly after 9 pm on July 24 a call came in of a watercraft in distress on Gull Lake. Several members raced to the boat launch area of Stoner's Landing on the west side of the lake, while sending for Lacombe Fire Department to assist with their rescue boat. One member arranged to meet the Parks crew with their boat from Aspen Beach. The boat in distress was located with binoculars from Stoner's Landing and the family in the boat was contacted by cell phone. A non-life-threatening situation was confirmed and Lacombe was stood down. The boat had been run out of gas, so the Parks crew towed them back to shore. This can be a VERY expensive ride, so please think of someone you can call to tow you or bring you gas before you decide to call 911 for a non-emergency!
  • On August 5 at 11:22 am six members were sent to a call of a gas leak in a Bentley alley. Crews had been working nearby and accidentally punctured a gas line. Firefighters evacuated the areas nearby and monitored the gas levels while awaiting ATCO crews. The scene was then left in ATCO's care.
  • At 1:55 pm on August 10 six members responded to an alarms ringing call at a Bentley residence near the schools. There have been several alarms calls there in the past and the resident met the crews at the door mentioning it was a false alarm due to a cooking incident. We would like to remind homeowners to please monitor your phones so the alarm company can contact you after an alarm has been triggered. This may prevent emergency crews having to be sent out unnecessarily.
  • And on August 13 at 10:09 pm crews arrived at a business in town where another alarm was ringing. No smoke was showing at the building's exterior and when the key holder arrived the interior was inspected and monitored with the TIC (thermal imaging camera). It had been a hot day and the building was very warm and had triggered the sensitive detector. This was also ruled a false alarm.

Thank you to all resident and visitors who attended RevMaster's Show-N-Shine and enjoyed our BFD concession. It was well attended as usual and we appreciate your support!

If you are looking for a volunteering opportunity we are looking for interested individuals who would like to make a difference in their community. Click here for more information.

This past month your fire department has responded to nine calls:

  • On June 23 at 4:11 pm firefighters were called to a Bentley house to provide RCMP with PPE (personal protective equipment) for an investigation they were conducting. Two hours later crews were requested to return to the same home to carefully remove the resident, who had passed away earlier, under the direction of RCMP and the coroner.
  • Mid afternoon on July 26 firefighters were sent as Mutual Aid to Eckville, to the scene of a 2-vehicle accident at an intersection in their area. Six members were sent along with Bentley Tender to provide the water supply.
  • In the early afternoon of July 4th seven crews were sent out to an outside fire at a rural residence. Prohibited debris was being burned in an illegal burn pit, so firefighters extinguished the blaze with the assistance of Ponoka West, who had been called in to help.
  • At noon on July 6th a call was received of a vehicle fire at the intersection of Highways #12 and #20. A garbage truck was involved and the bin's contents, recycling items, were on fire. The driver had wisely dumped the burning debris onto the paved shoulder and driven ahead a short distance. The pile was fully involved upon arrival, so traffic was carefully managed while the smoking garbage was extinguished and moved aside for removal.
  • Early in the morning of July 7th eleven members raced to Woody Nook Road, south of Woody Nook Church. A vehicle travelling south had left the road and travelled some distance in the grassy ditch before hitting an approach and flipping onto its passenger side. The driver was conscious but trapped, so the vehicle was first stabilized then cut open with the shears and the occupant removed under the direction of attending EMS. The patient was sent by ambulance to the hospital and the scene was then released to the RCMP.
  • On July 11 at 3:05 pm a call came in of an outside fire at the Bentley Cemetery. A controlled burn was being conducted with a burn permit in place and the caretaker had called prior to inform the fire department, but a concerned passerby had called 911 so crews are required to attend. A quick investigation and speaking with the caretaker assured all that everything was proceeding according to plan.
  • At 4:17 pm on July 13 five members were sent to a Bentley residence where alarms were ringing. The BFD was stood down once the homeowner and alarm company were in contact and determined this was a false alarm.
  • And shortly before midnight on July 14th twelve firefighters were sent to a machinery road north of Bentley where a vehicle was on fire. In the rainy muddy conditions the road was impassable for the fire trucks, so the neighbours who had reported the blaze, kindly offered a lift to the scene on their ATV. No one was in the truck, which had burned down considerably, so it was monitored for a time to ensure it would not spread to the surrounding trees, then left for RCMP who had been called in to investigate.

 

This July the Bentley District Fire Department received its new Rapid Response Unit. This truck will be used for extra crew transport as well as fire suppression and extrication purposes, especially useful in multi-vehicle accidents where more than one set of shears and spreaders are needed and timely assistance is vital. Thank you Lacombe County, it will be put to good use!

This has been a fairly quiet month for your fire department with only four calls to report;

  • About 2 pm on January 21, seven members were sent to the scene of a single-vehicle accident on Highway #20 near RR #1-4. The car had left the road and gone straight into the ditch. The driver appeared to have had a medical issue and was helped to the waiting ambulance for further assessment.
  • In the early morning hours of January 27, firefighters were called to a residence in Lake Trail Estates. EMS requested help with an unconscious patient who was then carefully packaged and loaded for the trip to the hospital.
  • On February 6 at 8:42 am, crews drove to the scene of a vehicle fire on RR #1-0 near Twp Rd #40-2. One truck was fully engulfed upon arrival, but fortunately no one was trapped inside. The fire was brought under control and eventually extinguished, so RCMP could investigate the scene.
  • And at 7:54 pm on February 11, a call was received of a 2-vehicle accident on Highway #20 south of Twp Rd 41-4. A southbound car had collided with a northbound truck and damage was extensive. The occupants of the truck appeared to sustain minor injuries, while the driver of the car was cared for on the scene until EMS arrival. Traffic in both directions was stopped for some time until the RCMP finished their investigation. The vehicles were removed, then the roadway was cleaned up and traffic allowed to resume. Thank you to the witnesses who kindly stopped to help until emergency crews arrived.

We appreciate your patience as drivers when we are on the scene of a traffic accident. The highway is a dangerous place to work, especially at night when visibility is poor. Please respect our members monitoring traffic and working on the scene. We all want to get where we need to be in a timely fashion and we want everyone to do so safely.

 

What Does That Flashing Green Light Mean?

Most Alberta drivers are familiar with the flashing red emergency lights and sirens on ambulances, police cars and fire trucks, and law states that they are required to pull to the right and stop when they see or hear them coming. But not everyone knows about the volunteer Firefighter's flashing green light.

In large cities, emergency vehicles are driven by full-time personnel who use red lights and sirens to get to the emergency scene quickly.

For smaller communities and in rural areas fire protection is provided by volunteers, who most often respond to emergencies in their own private vehicle. These vehicles do not have red lights or sirens to make them stand out from any other car or truck.

When a call comes in, a firefighter may be at his or her regular job, out with the family or sleeping in the middle of the night. They drop everything and immediately respond to the fire hall to drive the fire trucks to the scene.

The flashing green light, usually mounted near the rearview mirror, is used as an identifier to the drivers of other vehicles so they may, as a courtesy, give up their right-of-way and allow the firefighter to get to the hall unhampered.
     
If you see a vehicle with a flashing green light you now know it's one of us on our way to help someone in our community. Please let us by as soon as it is safe to do so...Remember, the life or property we are trying to save may be that of a friend, a neighbour or even your own!

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This past month your fire department has been called out to nine emergencies:

  • Early in the morning on November 25th nine members were sent to help Eckville Fire Department with a structure fire in their area. The home was fully involved upon arrival, but all occupants were out, so the fire was kept from spreading and finally extinguished.
  • Later that same afternoon firefighters responded to a medical assist call in Bentley. CPR was performed on the patient until EMS arrival then crews assisted with loading the patient for the trip to the hospital.
  • At 7:12 pm on November 26 nine members were called to help Eckville with another structure fire. The old house had sawdust insulation in the attic space, which was smoking heavily. The residents had exited the building and firefighters doused the trouble spots from the roof and chimney areas.
  • Later that night crews were sent to an emergency at a rural residence. The occupant was having issues with the thermostat and the house was becoming hotter and hotter. The issue was resolved for the night and the homeowner was advised to have a professional look at the system the next day.
  • In the evening on December 2 firefighters raced to the scene of a 2-vehicle accident on Highway #20, just south of Highway #12. A northbound and southbound vehicle collided, with one going down a steep embankment and one hitting the guardrail after the collision. Both drivers were out of their vehicles and miraculously not seriously injured. Traffic had to be carefully controlled in the dark while awaiting tow trucks, then the highway was cleaned up and re-opened.
  • On December 15th crews were called to a residence in Sunbreaker Cove where alarms were ringing. Members were stood down en route once a false alarm was ascertained.
  • A few hours later firefighters were sent to the Westview Apartments where a resident had collapsed and lay on the floor unable to move for quite some time before a neighbour heard cries for help. Crews assisted EMS with carefully loading the patient into an ambulance to be taken to hospital.
  • On December 17 a call was received of alarms ringing, this time at a Bentley home. Eight members responded to what turned out to be a false alarm.
  • And mid morning on December 18 crews were called back to Westview Apartments where another resident had collapsed. Firefighters assisted EMS with loading the patient, who was now conscious, into the ambulance for the trip to the hospital.

Are you interested in becoming a volunteer firefighter? If you are 16 years of age or older, The Bentley District. Fire Department would like to invite you to our Recruitment Open House, for interested volunteers only, which will be held at the fire hall on January 23, 2016 from 10 am to 4 pm. Come and meet some of our members and learn more about what we do.

We look forward to meeting you and explaining this opportunity!

Your Fire Department has been kept busy this month with eight calls to report:

  •  Shortly after midnight on October 21 nine members responded to a mutual aid call from Lacombe for a structure fire in town. A single family home was fully involved upon arrival but all residents were safely out, so the fire was kept from spreading to the neighbouring houses until it was finally extinguished. Crews spent 3 1/2 hours working until they were released by the LFD.
  • At 8:13 am on October 24 a call came in of an accident at the intersection of Highways #12 and #20. Two vehicles were involved and both drivers were cared for until EMS arrival. Traffic was managed during the morning commute and the roadway was cleaned up and then re-opened.
  • On October 25 at 3:56 pm eight members were called to a rural residence south of town where an older gentleman had reportedly been kicked in the ribs by a cow. Crews were stood down en route as the situation became manageable.
  • At 4:28 pm on October 27 thirteen members raced to the scene of a large hay barn fire at a dairy farm on Highway #12, across from the Lacombe County office buildings. Bentley, Blackfalds and Clive Fire Departments assisted Lacombe FD in setting up portable ponds for rural water supply while Tenders were kept busy shuttling water to the scene. Traffic control was in place on the busy highway as there was plenty to see! The hay barn affected was adjacent to the highway with a thick treed area in between so firefighters created paths to run hose lines where they were needed. Fortunately the fire was kept from spreading to any of the many other buildings nearby. Bentley crews spent up to 13 hours on the scene before being released.
  • On October 28 a call was received of alarms ringing at the Bentley High School. This was investigated and deemed a false alarm.
  • Around suppertime on November 4 seven members responded to a Mutual Aid call from Eckville Fire Department. Crews were stood down en Route as Eckville had the situation under control.
  • Half an hour later at 6:38 pm another Mutual Aid call was received, this time from Lacombe's fire department, to respond to a large brush fire on Lincoln Road, near the Lincoln Hall. A large pile of logs were on fire and threatening a treed area nearby. No one was monitoring this burn and it took a couple of hours to extinguish.
  • And on November 6 at 2:51 am firefighters were summoned to a rural area west of Bentley, on RR 1-4 and Twp 41-0. A single vehicle accident had been reported, but upon arrival it was noted that the car affected simply would not start! The two occupants were checked by EMS and firefighters remained on scene until RCMP arrived to conduct their investigation.

Have you considered becoming involved in a fascinating, ever-changing and worthwhile volunteer opportunity? Bentley District Fire Department is looking for people willing to help friends and neighbours in their community. If this sounds like something that you would find interesting, click on the 'recruiting' tab or click this link: www.bentleyfire.ca/recruiting/

We look forward to meeting you!

Your fire department has been sent to several calls this past month:

  • At 7:17 am on September 26 eleven members attended a single-vehicle accident scene on Woody Nook Road, across from the Woody Nook Church. A southbound truck had left the road and hit a power pole, breaking it off near its base, then plowed through a fence and hit a sizeable spruce tree head-on. The power pole was still energized so firefighters carefully searched the area for the driver who had self-extricated. RCMP located the driver about a mile further down the road. The scene was secured until the utility company was notified and the line de-energized.
  • On October 10 at 5:10 pm crews were sent south of Bentley to a combine on fire. The farmers working the field had extinguished the fire, but it was checked with the thermal imaging camera and foam was used to smother the hot spots and prevent re-ignition.
  • About suppertime on October 14 firefighters responded to a call of alarms ringing at a Bentley home. Crews were met at the door by the resident and were informed of a cooking mishap which had set off the smoke alarm. The house was checked over as a precaution then the scene was cleared.
  • At 1:32 pm on October 15 a call was received of a 2-vehicle accident at the intersection of Highways #12 and #20 west of town. An eastbound car and a northbound truck with a pipe-loaded trailer had collided, injuring both drivers. The truck ended up in the east ditch, upside-down under the trailer which had spilled its contents. Leaking diesel was collected in a container to avoid contaminating the area. Traffic was helpfully controlled by Alberta Highways personnel and the scene was attended by several RCMP units. EMS tended to the patients, both of whom were sent by ambulance to hospital. The area was secured while the investigation was completed then firefighters cleaned up the highway before leaving the scene.
  • And on October 18 at 12:35 am eight members were sent to a Mutual Aid call in Lacombe. A four-plex was on fire and crews from Lacombe, Bentley and Blackfalds were put to work. Fortunately, all the residents had been safely evacuated. Firefighters discovered two cats in one of the units and brought them safely out. Items from each unit were carefully removed before the fire could destroy them. The blaze was eventually extinguished and the homes thoroughly inspected for hidden hot spots, then the dirty work of overhaul was begun.

        Thanks to all of our friends and neighbours who attended Bentley Fire Department's Open House on October 13. We had lots of fun putting you in bunker gear and BA's and running you through our obstacle courses. You are a great bunch of good sports and we appreciate our community's support!

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