- On August 25 at 9:29 pm members were called to a Bentley residence where the occupant had received burns to the hand from an outdoor fire pit. The affected hand was kept on ice while awaiting the arrival of EMS and the situation was turned over to them.
- At 5:59 pm on August 27 crews raced toward Sunbreaker Cove where a young child had been hit by a boat's prop, sustaining serious leg injuries. Traffic was stopped while firefighters established a STARS landing zone on Rainy Creek Road.
- At 10:03 in the morning on August 29 seven members were sent to a Bentley home to assist EMS in loading a patient for a trip to the hospital.
- On September 1 at 10:11 pm crews attended an MVA involving a truck colliding with a moose calf on Rainy Creek Road. The driver of the truck was checked over by EMS and received a clean bill of health; the moose was not so lucky.
- Over the supper hour on September 6 a report came in of an outside fire in Sunbreaker Cove. A County-wide burn ban was in place at the time so firefighters were sent to the area to investigate. The area was searched but no fire was discovered so crews returned to the hall.
- Shortly after this call another report was received regarding the same outside fire. This time the location of Birchcliffe was given. This summer village borders Sunbreaker Cove and the fire was discovered to be landowners burning a large pile of brush in a cleared area. Interestingly, the burn ban did not apply to the Birchcliffe area and the owners were in possession of a valid burn permit so the BFD left the scene in their care.
- On September 7 at 10:51 am a call of alarms ringing sent members to the Bentley Care Centre. The power outage had apparently triggered the alarm and the fire department was stood down en route.
- Shortly before 8 am on September 8 ten members responded to a structure fire at a large greenhouse on Range Road 28-3 southeast of Bentley. As a large building was involved Blackfalds FD also responded as Mutual Aid. Upon arrival it was discovered the fire had extinguished itself so Blackfalds was stood down. Fortunately no one had been injured and the tomato crop was not badly affected but an investigation into the cause was conducted.
- Later that same morning another alarms call was received, this time at the Bentley School. Crews were immediately informed the alarm had accidentally been set off and were stood down.
- About 1:30 pm on September 10 eleven members were sent to Gull Lake Village, where an antique refrigerator being moved from a shed had leaked noxious fumes into the small closed area, sickening the resident. Canutec was contacted to determine the likely type of refrigerant and EMS was informed before assessing and treating the patient. Firefighters donned their breathing apparatus and moved the old appliance outdoors and the homeowner was advised to have it repaired.
- Another alarms call came in at 5 pm on September 12, this time at a rural residence east of Bentley. This was ruled a false alarm and crews were stood down.
- On September 16 at 8:25 pm thirteen members responded to an MVA on Woody Nook Road, just south of Aspelund Road. A southbound vehicle had crossed Aspelund Road, hit the gravel and lost control, travelling in the grassy ditch along a plank fence before flipping over top and into the field on the other side. Miraculously the car's two occupants were not badly injured and both were out of the vehicle when firefighters arrived. The BFD Rescue truck helpfully provided scene lighting to assist RCMP and the collision analyst with their investigations.
This past month has been another busy one with sixteen incidents requiring responses from your fire department:
- Over the noon hour on July 20 a call was received of an accident on Aspelund Road and Range Road 1-0. A tanker truck had blown a tire and left the road next to a bridge, careening down the embankment, narrowly missing the abutment and splashing into the Blindman River. The driver was put into the care of EMS while Ponoka City Fire Department was called on with their hazmat team to contain the fuel spill in the water. Traffic was managed while the truck was pulled out and the scene was turned over to Ponoka's team to finish their cleanup.
- Shortly before 7 that evening seven members were sent to an outside fire on Highway 20. A tree had been struck by lightning and was burning next to a power pole which had fallen against it. Fortis was notified and once the pole was removed the fire self-extinguished.
- At 4:21 early the next morning nine members responded to a vehicle fire on Rainy Creek Road near RR 2-1. Upon arrival the vehicle was completely engulfed. The fire was extinguished. Fortunately no one was inside at the time and no ID was found so it was loaded onto a flatbed for disposal.
- On July 22 at 12:40 pm crews were sent to Highway #20 just south of Bentley where a driver suffering a medical issue had left the southbound lane and hit the ditch with considerable force. First aid was provided while awaiting EMS and the driver and passenger were sent by ambulance to hospital for further evaluation while traffic was controlled in the meantime. Thank you to those who stopped to help.
- Midmorning on July 24 firefighters rushed to Gull Lake where three children were stranded on their kayaks in the stormy water off the shore of Sandy Point. All three were wearing life vests and were reported as having made it to shore before fire crews arrived on the scene.
- Immediately after this call another water rescue call was received at the same location. A Good Samaritan had offered to retrieve the children's kayak and had fallen out of the rescue canoe in the high winds. Parks was called, along with Lacombe FD for use of their boats. The patient was located and quickly plucked from the waves using a bystander's boat, brought to the dock and assessed by EMS.
- On July 30 at 12:45 am, ten members were called to a structure fire at Camp Silversides on Gull Lake. Staff had noticed significant smoke and odour issuing from vents around the fireplace in the dining hall. An investigation was conducted using the TIC (thermal imaging camera) and the problem area on the roof was isolated. The building was turned back over to staff after advising them to have it repaired by a professional.
- On July 31 about 10:30 am crews responded to an alarms call at Blissful Beach. This was declared a non-emergency (cooking incident) and the BFD was stood down en route.
- At 3 pm on July 31 members were sent to an MV fire in Brewer's Campground. Family members had gone to the beach and returned to their site to find their trailer on fire and the tow vehicle and one additional vehicle burning. Firefighters from Lacombe assisted Bentley in dousing the vehicles with water and foam and fortunately no one was injured.
- At 12:28 pm on August 8 crews raced to the scene of an accident on the Medicine Lodge ski hill. A front-end loader bucket had been used to assist with the trimming and mulching maintenance on the slopes. The man driving the machine had parked it and entered the bucket, then the vehicle proceeded to roll downhill, taking its unwilling passenger along for a painful ride. Firefighters secured the scene and tended to the patient while awaiting EMS, then assisted him to a pickup truck for the ride down to the ambulance.
- About suppertime that same day thirteen members responded to a call of a vehicle on fire on Highway #20 north of town. The fire had been put out by a passerby with a fire extinguisher so firefighters used the TIC to determine the origin. The rear differential was discovered to be very hot and leaking fluid. The driver was fortunately uninjured so the car was cooled with a hose stream and the area left in care of the RCMP.
- On August 12 at 12:34 pm another water rescue call was received, this time at the Ebeling Day Use area of Aspen Beach. A swimmer on a dinghy had fallen into the water and had been brought to shore where CPR was being administered. Firefighters assisted EMS with patient care while a STARS landing zone was set up. Despite best efforts the patient passed away.
- Later that afternoon a Citizen Assist call was received, this time at Sandy Point. A child had been locked in a car in the parking area and help was requested for extrication. Fortunately witnesses managed to get into the vehicle quickly and the BFD was stood down.
- That night at 6:38 pm a fluid spill was reported by the RCMP, trailing all the way from the Highway #2 and Highway #12 intersection, along Hwy 12 all the way to Bentley. The BFD was requested as Mutual Aid to Lacombe FD as a precaution, however, possibly due to evaporation, no spill was ever found.
- In the morning of August 19 members were sent to Sylvan Lake where the body of a missing boater had been discovered. Crews were needed to lend a hand, however RCMP stood down firefighters en route as they had the situation managed.
- And later that same afternoon another water rescue call was received. In this instance, eight boaters were left stranded when the engine failed to start. The passengers apparently tried to flag down other boats in the area between Stoner's Landing on the west side and Raymond Shores on the east but no one would stop to help. Both BFD and Ponoka West Fire Departments responded as well as Parks who has a boat. A bystander's boat was borrowed to search the area and once contact was made Bentley left the scene in Ponoka's care.
Please remember, as a recreational boater you have a responsibility to others on the lake. The Criminal Code of Canada states: "A pleasure craft operator must stop and assist another boat(er) when he/she is in distress, as long as it does not place that person, their boat or their passengers in a dangerous position. Law Enforcement officers have the authority to charge boat operators for criminal offences.
Please, everyone, take care of each other and play safely!
Your Fire Department has been absolutely swamped with all manner of emergencies this past month, fifteen to be exact:
- On June 20 shortly before midnight a call was received from Eckville FD requesting Mutual Aid from Bentley for an electrical hazard in their area. Bentley was stood down once the situation was handled.
- At 5:40 p.m. on June 23 twelve members were sent to the intersection of Highways 12 and 20 where a westbound car on 12 and a southbound truck and trailer had collided, resulting in injuries. Traffic was shut down for a time while a STARS landing zone was set up on the highway. One fatality on scene.
- On June 25 at 6:54 p.m. a call was received of a strong gas odour at a home in town. This was discovered to be a sewer backup problem and was turned over to Public Works.
- At 10:10 p.m. on June 30 a call came in of alarms ringing at another Bentley residence. A quick investigation revealed an expired smoke alarm and a new one was installed for the homeowner.
- Firefighters were awakened at 11:30 p.m. on July 4 by a call of an MVA on Highway #20 north of Bentley. A truck and motorcycle had collided resulting in very serious injuries to the motorcyclist. The highway was quickly shut down in both directions so a STARS landing zone could be established on the road. The patient was whisked away and the roadway kept closed for several hours so the accident reconstructionist could complete his investigation.
- On July 5 at 2:11 p.m. an MVA call came in, again involving a motorcycle. This one happened on Highway #20, just north of Rainy Creek Road. The northbound bike left the road and hit the east ditch, ejecting the rider and causing very serious injuries. Witnesses stopped to help and called 911 and we thank them. Again a STARS landing zone was set up and the patient was quickly and carefully loaded for the trip to hospital. The area was kept closed so an investigation could be conducted.
- At 5:21 p.m. the same day a 3-vehicle accident occurred on Highway #20 and Twp. Rd. 40-2. First aid was provided to the patients while awaiting EMS. Traffic during the busy evening was controlled while one patient was sent to the hospital.
- And finally, at 7:32 p.m. that evening one more call was received, a medical emergency in Gull Lake Village near the Wooden Shoe. An older patient had been walking along the road with a family member and had suddenly collapsed. EMS was on scene upon the Fire Department's arrival so the patient was quickly loaded, along with the relative and headed for the hospital.
- Around suppertime on July 9 a call came in from a concerned patron at the Monkey Top who had seen and smelled smoke issuing from a nearby backyard. Firefighters spoke with the homeowners and established a non-emergency as they were simply burning garden trimmings in their outdoor fireplace.
- Around 7:20 that same evening ten members were sent to another outside fire, this time on RR 1-4. A tree had been struck by lightning and a neighbour had seen it smoking. As the tree was inaccessible by truck the landowner investigated using a quad. He reported it as mostly self-extinguished by this time and it was left under his supervision.
- On July 12 shortly after 8 a.m. EMS requested help loading a patient from a home in town into the waiting ambulance.
- At 3:41 p.m. on July 13 a call was received of a vehicle fire at a rural residence. The fire had reportedly started in the engine compartment of the older farm truck and the driver noticed heat and smoke and extricated himself before inhaling the noxious fumes. Fire-fighters extinguished the blaze using water and foam.
- On July 14 at 9:02 a.m. reports were received of an outside fire at a rural property on Highway #771. Upon investigation it was a confirmed controlled burn, with the property monitored, under control and a valid burn permit in place.
- Shortly after 9 that same night another outside fire was reported, this time at the Bentley Transfer Station. The wood waste in one of the burn pits had burned down.
- And lastly, at 1:18 p.m. on July 17 crews responded to an EMS Assist at a home in Bentley, where CPR was being administered to a patient. Members took turns to relieve ambulance crews on scene.
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!
- 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.
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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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!
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!
- In the early morning hours of May 19, crews were summoned to a Bentley residence where alarms were ringing. The home was checked with the department's gas detector and no elevated levels were found, so the homeowner was given a new carbon monoxide detector to replace the faulty one.
- On May 22 firefighters were called to aid Eckville with a structure fire in their area. Crews were stood down once the situation was believed to be under control.
- At 4:04 pm on May 23 ten members responded to a call of a structure fire in Gull Lake Village. A vacant detached garage was on fire and members vented a window and set up a positive pressure fan to allow the smoke to be directed outside while the fire was being extinguished. The contents of the garage were brought outside and documented and the RCMP conducted their investigation.
- Mid afternoon on May 25 six firefighters were called to a vehicle fire on Woody Nook Road and Twp Rd 40-0. A wheel loader was discovered parked on the shoulder and fully engulfed. The driver had safely evacuated so firefighters worked on putting out the blaze, which had ignited the grass in the ditch. Traffic was controlled throughout, the fire was quickly extinguished, and the roadway cleaned up and fully reopened.
- Another alarms call was received shortly after lunch on May 26. A rural residence was affected this time, and some vacuum cleaner dust had activated the touchy alarm. Crews were stood down once the alarm company had been in contact with the homeowner.
- At 6:16 pm on May 29 twelve firefighters raced to the intersection of Highways 12 and 20, where three vehicles were involved in an accident. A southbound vehicle on Highway 20 and a westbound vehicle on Highway 12 had collided, sending one of them into an eastbound truck and trailer on the west side of the intersection. Heavy traffic was on the roads this time of day so it was managed in all 4 directions while EMS attended drivers and passengers, none of whom were seriously injured. Belongings were retrieved by crews, vehicles were towed and the glamourous work of cleaning up the highways was completed.
- Another Mutual Aid call was received on June 3 at 7:40 pm, this time to Lacombe for a structure fire. Our Tender was requested, and was stood down once the situation was under control.
- On June 4 at 1:10 pm five members responded to a call of a hit and run involving three bicyclists on Highway 771. The cyclists were heading north and the centre individual had been struck from behind by a silver Dodge truck with extended sideview mirrors. The individual was thrown into the ditch while the truck driver continued north without stopping. The conscious patient was cared for until EMS arrival and information relayed to RCMP to assist with their investigation.
- At 10:32 pm on June 10 nine firefighters were sent to Gull Lake Village. A house was on fire behind the Wooden Shoe. Upon arrival the home was fully engulfed and a thorough check with neighbours assured crews it was unoccupied so a defensive attack was implemented in order to save the threatened houses on either side. Mutual Aid from Lacombe Fire was requested and more crews quickly arrived to help. Over four hours later the fire was finally extinguished using water and foam. A fire investigation is being conducted.
- On June 12, shortly after midnight, crews were called to an outside fire at a rural location south of Bentley. This was called in by a neighbouring landowner who was concerned about it spreading. As this fire was in an inaccessible location the person attending it was asked to put it out. The RCMP arrived on scene and the BFD left the incident in their command.
- And at 11:30 am on June 20 several members were called to the scene of a large outside fire on the property adjoining Sunset Legion Campground on the northwest side of Gull Lake. A massive load of dry leaves had been dumped over decades worth of rotted stumps, debris and actual bagged garbage over a steep, 30 foot embankment near the shore. This huge mess took several hours of filthy work to spread out and extinguish with the help of Moore's Backhoe Service (thanks Ross!) Rimbey Fire Department was called out to assist and we appreciate their help. Efforts were somewhat hampered by the steep terrain and dense tree and brush cover. Hopefully this will bring some attention to the blight on this otherwise beautiful area!
- In the afternoon of April 24 eight members responded to a call of an outside fire northwest of town near Rimbey. The small fire was put out and the surrounding area soaked to prevent a re-kindle.
- On April 25 at 1:50 am twelve crews were sent to a structure fire east of the Wooden Shoe on Highway #12. The old vacant house was fully engulfed, so Lacombe and Blackfalds departments were called in to assist. The house was too far gone to save therefore a defensive attack was in order to protect homes nearby. The fire was finally extinguished several hours later and the building was pulled apart and hot spots put out. Thanks to DB Bobcat who helped with the knockdown.
- At 1:19 am on April 27 members were called to a rural residence south of town to assist EMS with an unconscious patient. CPR was administered for over 40 minutes but the exhaustive efforts were to no avail as unfortunately the individual passed away at the scene.
- About suppertime on April 29 a call came in of a grassfire at a rural property on Woody Nook Road and Highway #12. This was a monitored burn in a cultivated field, the fire was allowed to burn out and left in the care of the landowner.
- On May 3 at 10:26 am firefighters were sent to a farm south of town on Highway #20 where a controlled burn was in progress. All permits and safety precautions were in place however the wind changed direction and the fire ignited some straw bales nearby. When the situation became somewhat unmanageable the supervisor wisely called 911 for assistance. Crews extinguished the burning piles and broke apart the burning bales, then thoroughly soaked all surrounding areas.
- Just before 7 am on May 4 ten crews attended the scene of a vehicle fire on Range Road 1-2 just south of town. A truck was discovered upside-down and burning in the west ditch. No occupants were found inside the vehicle and a search of the area revealed nothing. Firefighters extinguished the blaze and RCMP conducted their investigation.
- On May 6 at 1:03 pm an alarms ringing call came in. A Bentley home was involved but crews were stood down en route once the alarm company clarified it as a false alarm.
- May 7 won the prize for the BFD's busiest day as five calls came in between lunch and (late) supper:
- At 12:11 pm an outside fire call sent eight members to Aspen Beach's day use area where a family was enjoying a wiener roast over an open fire. As there was a burn ban on during this time the fire was extinguished.
- A call came in at 1:30 pm of a plane crash the Eckville area, Bentley was requested to help. As firefighters neared the location they were stood down as the Eckville Fire Department had the situation under control.
- At 3:07 pm another call of an outside fire was received; same day use area, almost exactly same location. Again, the campfire was put out and the new family informed of the POSTED fire ban. Conservation officers were now present to help educate users.
- Ten crews responded to the next call which was received at 5:22 pm Yet again a fire was spotted in the Ebeling day use area. This time members arrived to find a family legally using a portable propane fire pit. We ask people to PLEASE check what they are reporting before they call 911!
- And finally, at 7:27 pm firefighters were sent to a motorcycle accident on Highway #12, just east of RR 28-4. The motorcyclist appeared to have hit some loose gravel on the shoulder and lost control, ending up in the grassy ditch. Firefighters assisted EMS with the patient who was loaded into a waiting ambulance for the trip to hospital.
- On May 13 at 5:40 pm crews responded to another vehicle fire, this time on Highway 20 south of town. A southbound car had caught fire, forcing the driver to pull to the shoulder and quickly exit to the safety of the grassy ditch. The burning vehicle was extinguished but the cause of the fire was unknown, RCMP conducted their investigation while the BFD controlled traffic and helped clean the roadway of debris until they were released.
- On February 13 ten members were called to assist EMS with a Bentley resident. The patient was carefully moved from the home to a waiting ambulance for the trip to hospital.
- At 3:58 pm on February 18 crews responded to an alarms ringing call in town. The homeowner met firefighters at the door and confirmed with them it was a false alarm.
- In the early morning hours of February 21 twelve members responded to a call of a fire on a rural property south of town. RCMP had requested help to put out an unattended bonfire. The fire was extinguished before it could spread.
- On February 27 at 2:18 pm Bentley was called to assist Lacombe with an outside fire in their area. This turned out to be a controlled burn.
- On February 29 eleven members were called out to a rural residence west of town on Highway #12. A driver had been experiencing a medical issue and had pulled into the nearest driveway to wait for help. An ambulance was called and the patient was attended to until EMS arrival.
An Ice Rescue course was hosted by the Bentley Fire Department on March 6th and 7th with help from instructors from Bentley and Lacombe fire departments. This was well attended by firefighters from Bentley, Lacombe, Rimbey and Ponoka County. Plenty of new rescue skills were acquired by all and fun was involved!
- In the early afternoon of March 14 members were called out to Birch Bay for a medical assist. RCMP and EMS were on the scene when firefighters arrived and CPR was in progress so crews were released.
- On March 27 at 4:13 am eight members were summoned to a bale fire on Highway #20 and Rainy Creek Road. A helpful passerby had called 911 before the single bale could ignite nearby buildings. The fire was extinguished with water and foam and a perimeter was raked to prevent spreading. The bale was torn apart and soaked thoroughly to minimize re-ignition.
- At 6:38 pm on March 28 twelve firefighters raced to Aspen Beach where a vehicle was reported to have fallen through the ice. The locked gate needed to be breached in order to access the motorist who was stranded close to shore. The front wheels had indeed dropped through, but was sitting on the lake bottom about 8 inches below. The out-of-town driver's vehicle was winched out by a local towing company.
- About 4:30 pm on April 18 thirteen members were sent to a Mutual Aid call to Lacombe for a grassfire on Woody Nook Road. The burning brush pile was extinguished with help from a handy dugout nearby. Immediately after this fire, the crews were sent into Lacombe to help with a structure fire. A parked vehicle and detached garage were involved and the nearby house was being threatened. The fire was knocked down and an interior search was conducted. No one was hurt and the house sustained only minor exterior damage, but the garage and vehicle were destroyed. BFD were released from the house fire only to be called out to another grassfire, this time between Range Roads #28-3 and 28-4, south of Twp Rd #40-0. A very long swath of partially-burned logs and brush had re-ignited from a much-earlier controlled burn. Sixteen members worked to extinguish this fire in dangerously windy conditions.
The Bentley District Fire Department has been blessed with several new members! Joining us this past fall is firefighter Stillman Taylor. In the last few months we have been excited to add firefighters Carson Schneider, Natasha Pitcher, Robert Hildebrandt, Erin Vert, Dawn Dojahn and Jody Buck. Welcome to the department, we thank you for your willingness to volunteer your time and effort!
And a farewell to firefighter Greg Holdstock who has been an extremely dependable and valuable member to us for the past two years. We are sorry to see you go but wish you great success with your new career in the military!
- 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.
- In the early evening on Christmas Day members responded to a call for mutual aid from Eckville Fire Department. A rural residence was on fire and a short while later Bentley was stood down as Eckville had the situation under control.
- On December 26 at 3:58 am eight firefighters were sent to a single-vehicle accident on Highway #12, just west of RR 1-1. A van had left the road and gotten stuck in the south ditch. The driver had self-extricated and was examined by EMS while RCMP conducted their investigation.
- Around suppertime on December 28 members were summoned to a home in Gull Lake Village where alarms were ringing. The tenant had an problem with the wood stove damper and the issue was soon resolved.
- At 2:53 pm on December 29 crews were sent to a structure fire at a rural residence. Eckville Fire Department was called on for mutual aid as a precaution, then stood down once the incident became manageable. The house had filled with smoke due to another wood stove incident, so the homeowner evacuated and called 911. Once the smoke cleared firefighters thoroughly inspected it using the thermal imaging camera and gas meter and the resident was able to move back in.
- On January 10 at 6:56 am a call was received of alarms ringing at a rural business. Crews stood down once the alarm company called to report it a false alarm.
- And on January 12 at 10:22 pm seven members were sent to Lake Trail Estates where yet another alarm was ringing. A neighbour had heard the commotion and called 911. An unoccupied mobile home was involved and the owner was unreachable, so firefighters gained entry and checked the unit for elevated levels of carbon monoxide and signs of heat and smoke. None were found, so the home was re-secured and management informed before crews left the scene.
Bentley District Fire Department has had a remarkably busy year!
In 2015 we responded to 90 emergencies. These included:
21- Alarms Ringing
2- Structure Fire
15- Mutual Aid
27- Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA)
10- Outside Fire
2- Gas Leak Investigation
1- Boat Fire
We hope you and your loved ones have a safe and happy 2016!
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!