The fire department in Eyebrow built a new hall last year, and that was just the beginning.

Since then, they've updated nearly every aspect of their gear, from suits, to boots, and even vehicles.

They recently purchased an old ambulance that they are converting into a mobile water unit, and then giving it to Brownlee.67667469 2344074939182584 990469902848491520 nUnit 42, to be retro fitted for fire fighting.

Mike Maclachlan, first responder coordinator for the department, said it be named Unit 42, since it will be housed at Smooth 42 craft distillery.

"We're going to put a water tote and a pump in it and take it to Brownlee and leave it in the distillery there. They'll have some quick water in town if they ever have a fire there. The two guys that run the distillery are both members of the fire department so we thought we might as well take it to Brownlee and they would have some quick water. It will still be dispatched through 911, the same as everything else. But at least they have stuff there. And then we still have the lighting if we have an accident on the highway."

The department has also purchased a new truck, which has a 500 gallon tank on it, and they are adding compressed air to the system.

"When you add the compressed air foam, it gives you the equivalent of 1500 gallons. It's a lot lighter weight truck to maneuver, and instead of hauling 1500 gallons of water around. Diesel powered and gave us the storage for all the rescue equipment."

One thing people forget is that small communities don't tend to have hydrants always available for the trucks to tie into. So they need mobile water tanks and alternative work around options to fighting fires.

67484024 2344074665849278 1672952219206418432 nTheir newest truck, consisting of a 500 gallon tank."We have fitted all our truck with adapters to get water out of local farmers water tanks. We've got lots of farmers with anywhere from 300 to 10,000 gallons on trailers. And we can get their water or just suck right out of their tanks."

Aside from vehicles, they have also found new to them gear, including suits and boots from a company called The Alberta Fire Aid Society. They take equipment that is donated from fire departments, corporate organizations, and municipalities across Alberta, manage their inventory, and distribute the equipment to departments, associations, and other not for profit organizations within Alberta and Canada. Eyebrow's fire fighters have updated many pieces of old equipment through this association.

"They get their gear from CP and Trans Gas and all the oil refineries in Edmonton", said Maclachlan. "Just with safety, it's got to be changed out every 10 years, whether it's ever been used or not. And it's replaced at 8 years, so it's got 2 years of actual fire fighting life left in it. But it replaces some of our gear which is 35 years old. I think some of the stuff we have is from 1988."

More information on the program is available here.

Training is an ongoing condition of the department as well, and in November they held a Self Contained Breathing Apparatus course, with 12 of their fire fighters taking part.

The Eyebrow fire hall is only a year old, but their experience, conditioning, and preparedness is being kept ready for any challenge that might present to the department.

 

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