The Derwent Fire Department are extremely proud of a recent achievement, they issued a cheque to STARS Air Ambulance for $17,500.28.
The department has been around for many years and loves to give back tot he community. In 1949 the Brigade purchased their first fire truck which was a 1913 LaFrance pumper.
“During this time, many individuals have volunteered their time and effort for the community as members and executives. It takes a lot of time and dedication to be a volunteer fire fighter, being ready 24 hours/day, 365 days/year, never knowing when the next call might be,” Cpt. Ed Mailhot for the Derwent fire Department said. “As a department, we spend thousands of hours each year attending incidents, meetings, practices, and training. Things have changed over the years including the gear, equipment, and regulations.”
Cpt. Mailhot says the Derwent Fire Department consists of 26 volunteer members from the hamlet and surrounding area. A group of individuals who really care about the communities they protect.
“We are unique as a volunteer department, since in addition to fundraising, none of us keep a wage. Instead, we donate the income to an account which helps to fund our equipment upgrades,” Cpt. Mailhot said. ” An example of this is our Kubota UTV, mounted on tracks, which has a high pressure, low volume pump that can spray a water/foam mixture for approximately 40 minutes on a fill. This machine allows us to get into areas that are not accessible with traditional fire trucks for fire suppression and first aid.”
Another great asset that they purchased is their drone, which has a 4K camera and infrared capabilities for detecting hot spots.
“We take the drone on all calls, using it to analyze scenes and dispatch resources effectively. Another valuable use is search and rescue. Footage is used for response analysis and training,” Cpt. Mailhot said. “Other recent purchases include an additional fire truck, jaws of life, and more. We are proud of being a multi-generation department; many of our fathers belonged to the department years ago. We are a very close group which is why we excel.”
At the beginning of 2021, the Derwent Fire Department decided to take on a project to support STARS Air Ambulance.
Members from the Derwent Fire Department grew 21 acres of canola. All proceeds from the crop were donated to STARS. Members of the department and the greater community donated time, equipment, fuel, and inputs in order to grow and harvest the crop.
“We invited cash donations, and received a generous response to our giving levels: 1/4 Acre for $50+, Silver for $100+, Gold for $250+, and Platinum for $500+ In total, we were able to issue a cheque to STARS for $17,500.28,” Cpt. Mailhot said. “We would like to thank all of our volunteers and generous donors.”
A challenge has been put forward by Cpt. Mailhot for other rural departments to do the same thing.