BY TODD COLIN VAUGHAN
Courtesy of the Sylvan Lake News
The Town of Sylvan Lake Fire Department is putting the Town’s new Fire Hall to a new use.
The Fire Department on Nov. 17th received their new aerial fire truck which will allow firefighters to safely reach heights of 100 ft. The Town’s largest building is currently five stories which is roughly 50 ft. The truck was in the fire department’s 10-year capital plan for quite awhile, according to Fire Chief Cliff Brausen.
“It was bumped back a couple years due to the delay in building the fire hall,” Brausen said. “We did a pre-build for the truck in February; we started building it in July and then it was delivered here on Thursday. It is the first aerial truck the Town has ever had.”
With the significant growth of the Town of Sylvan Lake – expanded fire services became a necessity and the new fire hall was built to accommodate this.
“With the buildings getting taller and wider – the need was definitely there,” Brausen said. “It is a lot safer for the firefighters. There will be a lot less ladder work and we now have a stationary platform where they can tether themselves in. When they climb the ladder previously it was sometimes a little dicey.”
The aerial truck will not only allow for lessening the use of ladders, it will also be used as an invaluable rescue tool and also will accommodate a elevated master water stream when necessary.
Brausen is thrilled with the new fire hall and the equipment it allows for and is thankful for the support of the community of Sylvan Lake.
“We have had huge support from the mayor, council and Town administration,” Brausen said. “The fire hall was a huge factor in us moving forward with the aerial project.
“There was no place for a piece of equipment like this in the old building,” he added. “Now we have the room for it. The fire hall is enormous and this project wouldn’t even be sent to tender if it wasn’t for the new building.”
The new fire hall has also allowed for faster response times as Brausen and his Deputy Fire Chief Steve Scanland now have offices right in the hall that allows for faster mobilization of personnel and equipment.
“We can start to organize things before the officers get in – that’s a big bonus,” he said.
The new facility has also been an important tool for the firefighters.
“The firefighters enjoy working in this building,” Brausen said. “There’s a lot more space for training and space in the bays for truck checks. It’s been a huge benefit.”
An upcoming training exercise is planned for the first week of January, when an aerial expert from the Piece Plant in Wisconsin where the new truck was built will be coming to Sylvan Lake.
“We will get our firefighters trained on how to operate it and hopefully mother nature will cooperate,” Brausen said. “Hopefully it won’t be -30 degrees with the wind blowing when he is here.”
Currently, the truck is being fitted to serve the needs of Sylvan Lake.
“We are putting it into service and getting some equipment mounted on it,” Brausen added.