It’s not often you hear about somebody joining the army in their 40s, but that’s what Leigh Green did. He was maintenance coordinator for the Lesser Slave Lake Regional Fire Service, and he’s just one of three key players in that organization that moved on in the past few months. The other two were the deputy chief in charge of rural operations and the FireSmart crew chief.
But good news on the maintenance front. Looking after the equipment in all five regional halls is Greg King, who came over from Whitecap Motors.
“I love it,” he says. “Super busy.”
The rural operations deputy who left was Sean Kearney. He’s taken a job looking after Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park, for the Parks Service. His position with the fire department hasn’t yet been filled.
Also moving on is Patrick McConnell, who led the FireSmart crew for the past several years.
“He’s headed to Kelowna as a career firefighter,” says deputy chief Alex Pavcek, adding that his replacement is yet to be named.
Also new to the FireSmart team are two young fellows new to town. Jordan Lampertz (“Loving every minute of it!”) is originally from Manitoba, but has been living in Alberta for about seven years. He has experience in industrial firefighting. Joel Flemmer is from Barrhead, where he was a volunteer firefighter.
Other news from the fire department includes the facility being used by Norquest College of Edmonton to put on a firefighting training course. The students are all from the Lubicon Lake First Nation.
Season 2 of Hellfire Heroes has been filmed and will likely appear sometime this year, on Discovery. Pavcek says the film crew rode along on calls in the period of January through March. The series features four fire departments.
The training facility called ‘Disaster Village’ continues to develop. Pavcek says all the big stuff is pretty much in place – all paid for by donations and grants. An example of the useful donations is an oilfield tank that’s hooked up to propane to simulate a tank fire. Pavcek says training on that resulted in the crew that responded to a tank fire up the Wabasca highway knowing exactly how to handle it when they got there.
A recent addition to the facility is a short set of railway tracks, donated by CN. A car is expected to follow.
The facility “is being used by all Lesser Slave Lake Fire Service members, as well as fire departments in our area,” Pavcek says.
As far as incidents go, recent week have been pretty quiet, Pavcek says, knocking on wood as he says it.
There have been a few ‘medical assist’ calls, which brings him to another development worth mentioning.
“We’re now part of the medical first response program for AHS,” he says.
That’s something the fire department was doing anyway, but in an informal, ad hoc manner that was causing some headaches. It’s now been formalized, with an agreed-upon protocol as to how and when the fire department will be asked to help with medical emergencies.
Emergency Preparedness Week
This runs May 5 through May 12. On Saturday, May 11 the fire service is holding some demonstrations at the Disaster Village, to which one and all are invited. It runs from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and includes a barbecue.