Volunteer fire department looking for recruits

Deputy chief Don Willner and chief Clayton Schilling of the Davidson Volunteer Fire Department pose with the rapid rescue unit at the fire hall.

Deputy chief Don Willner and chief Clayton Schilling of the Davidson Volunteer Fire Department pose with the rapid rescue unit at the fire hall.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — Don’t worry if you’re not exactly calendar material — the Davidson Volunteer Fire Department can use your help.

The department is looking for new recruits, putting out the invitation to all men and women aged 18 and older.

“We need members and I don’t care who it is,” chief Clayton Schilling said recently.

“We need to keep our department strong,” deputy chief Don Willner said, adding that local residents need to feel “confident that when they call 9-1-1, somebody’s coming.”

The department currently has 10 active members. That number includes EMS employees, who often have to leave a scene to transport patients to the hospital.

On average, around five members respond to a typical call.

The chiefs said they’re confident in the ability of their modest team to provide a fast and effective response.

But with fewer members, it’s harder to guard the scene of an accident or collision, or to provide relief when firefighters need a break.

“Everyone is so well trained, they have lots of experience,” said Willner, adding that without backup available, “you get physically worn out.”

The department responds to an average of 50 calls a year. About 80 per cent of those are located on or near Highway 11, and the chiefs have noticed a greater volume of traffic, as well as increasingly unsafe driving.

“People are going faster than they ever have, and they’re totally unprepared,” said Willner.

The remaining calls are mostly structure fires and field fires.

The Davidson department covers a large area for rescue service, stretching north to the townline road at Bladworth and south to Chamberlain, extending into the valley around Buffalo Pound Lake.

The main service area includes the Town of Davidson and the RMs of Arm River and Willner, as well as a small part of the RM of Wood Creek. Officials said they have also responded to structure fires in Bladworth, Craik, Elbow and Loreburn.

Davidson also provides mutual aid to other departments, including Craik and Kenaston.

For the full story, please see the Jan. 16 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

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