After the 2017 wildfires, the Tyee Lake Volunteer Fire Department received enough remuneration for its services to jump start building a fire hall.
Along with local residents pitching in labour and materials the department constructed a two-bay fire hall that doubles as a community hall, said Fire Chief Rick Jelley.
“We have a brush truck in there as our main truck and we also have a tender.”
A brush truck, he explained, is a four-wheel-drive and can get into difficult-to -get-to-areas and carries a small amount of water.
“It gets you into places where you are not going to get a bigger truck into.”
Presently the department has about 15 members.
They meet Wednesday evenings to practice with a primary focus on fighting wildfires.
“We are set up for that mostly – more the community versus being called out to other areas. It’s kind of a home-based fire department until we can get to a point where we can acquire more equipment,” Jelley said. “Funding is the biggest thing.”
The Tyee Lake VFD does not receive funding from the Cariboo Regional District, and the majority comes from donations to the community and fundraising events.
“We are lucky our building is paid for so we don’t have anything owing on it outside of our operational costs.”
Recently the department did access a grant through the CRD to purchase an automated external defibrillator (AED) for the Tyee Lake community.
Members have trained for their S-100 and S-185 and are slowly moving toward some structural fire protection training, which will depend on the numbers of members.
Jelley, who was a member of the Williams Lake Fire Department for 35 years, and a few of the other members are certified in structural protection so they can train.
“We are not part of the 9-1-1 system so there is an emergency list on the exterior of the fire hall and we also have lists out for all the people that live in the community.”
The hall has been a great addition to the community, he added.
“It’s a place to hold events, keep our assets and do some fundraising.”
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