By Joel van der Veen
DUNDURN — Early Saturday morning, eight members of the Dundurn Emergency Services Team (EST) responded to a call of a possible person in distress.
A driver had phoned 911 after seeing what they believed was a body laying on the side of Highway 11, south of Dundurn just before the hill at Blackstrap.
Members were dispatched to the scene on March 25 around 2:30 a.m. They didn’t find a body, but they did manage to rescue an ice fishing tent and a pair of chairs.
Speaking to the Leader last week, fire chief Laura Friesen said they don’t want to deter people from calling for help in the event of an emergency.
“We will respond to emergencies, no matter what they are,” she said.
However, she said, it’s also helpful when people check things out and get the basic information before they call 911.
This way, they can ensure there is an actual emergency, as well as providing the pertinent information to dispatchers.
The Dundurn EST issued a message on Facebook that same day with a similar message.
“When in doubt, always, ALWAYS call 911,” the message stated. “It is better to be present and not needed, than to be needed and not present.”
Friesen said the circumstances can go both ways, noting she is aware of other situations where emergency responders weren’t contacted.
“I understand why people don’t want to stop,” she said. “You don’t know what you’re dealing with.”
Dispatchers sometimes receive calls about cars or trucks parked on the side of the highway, only to find that the vehicles have left by the time responders arrive. Friesen estimated they receive roughly one of these calls per year.
The post also advised that the owner of the ice fishing tent and chairs can pick up their property at the Dundurn Fire Hall.
Friesen said they’re not sure how the equipment ended up on the roadside, noting that it may have fallen off of a passing vehicle. It’s also possible the owner was from out of town.
As of Wednesday the owner had yet to claim their tent and chairs, she said, adding with a laugh, “I think after (our) rant they may be too embarrassed.”