The Bienfait Fire Department received a huge boost last week when representatives from Enbridge Pipelines (Saskatchewan) Ltd. showed up with a $10,000 donation for the purchase of much-needed equipment.
Bienfait’s newly appointed Fire Chief, Adrian Bachorcik, said the timely funding will go a long way toward updating the department’s material needs to go along with a relatively new fire truck they took possession of about four years ago.
Jeff Yanko, spokesman for Enbridge, said the money came from the company’s Safe Community program which directs funds toward emergency response teams and facilities wherever the company conducts business. He added they also recently donated $20,000 toward the purchase of two new ambulances for the Sun Country Health Region to serve in the southeast Saskatchewan sector around Estevan and Weyburn.
“We have assets in these areas, and that includes Bienfait. Every year there is an assessment made with local and regional input, as well as head office, and then the decisions are made as to where we can put the funds most effectively. We have a pretty large gathering system in this area, about 2,500 kilometres of pipeline that runs through 34 rural municipalities, so all that is taken into consideration when the decisions are made,” said Yanko.
Bachorcik said he and newly-appointed Deputy Fire Chief Rod Sandhoff have a 13-person firefighting and rescue team to work with, and that includes four women, and they are working towards restoring fire protection services and contacts with a few surrounding rural municipalities to make the service more inclusive. That could include a co-operative agreement with the village of Roche Percee, too.
Bachorcik said connecting with the local oil companies and their safety representatives is another important matter, as is the continuing connection with Estevan Fire Rescue Services, who often assist the Bienfait crew with training, as well.
“It’s a team; it’s a family situation,” said Bachorcik, who is a five-year member of the Bienfait Fire Department.
“I think we will use some of the money to purchase protective clothing and helmets for our team members. To outfit a firefighter these days is about a $2,000 bill and some of our protective suits have been around a long, long time and they are pretty well worn out,” he said.
The Bienfait Fire Department members conduct training sessions three times