Stephen and Natalie Kosar climb aboard the fire department’s new ladder truck during an open house at the hall in Winfield on Sunday morning.

Fire protection steps up to new heights

The Lake Country Fire Department opened its doors of Hall 71 in Winfield to the public last weekend.

The Lake Country Fire Department opened its doors of Hall 71 in Winfield to the public last weekend. Residents were invited for breakfast and had a chance to take a look at the firefighting equipment and chat with the men and women who use it.

The municipality puts a considerable amount of money into the Fire Department. The open house was a chance for people to learn how their tax dollars are being used.

“We try to get the public to come out to our open house once a year. A lot of people have questions about how the fire department is run and this is the best opportunity for people to get some information on what goes on here,” said Asst. Fire Chief Brent Penner.

The highlight of the event could be seen from blocks away as residents drove towards the hall. A shiny white column emblazoned with the words “Lake Country” in bold read lettering could be seen stretching 75 feet into the air. It was the public unveiling of the department’s new ladder truck.

The new truck was acquired at a cost of $650, 000. After firefighters have completed a 30 hour training program on the new vehicle it will go into service replacing Winfield’s pumper 71 engine, which will in turn replace pumper 91 in Oyama.

Penner says the addition of a ladder truck to the community’s fire service is a huge boon. The ladder will allow firefighters to perform rescues from any floor of any building in Lake Country. It can also be used by firefighters as a second exit from a burning building if ground floor access is cut off during the course of a fire. Penner says there was an instance in Manitoba not long ago where firefighters were forced to dive out of second storey windows after being trapped in a building and that’s not something he wants to see repeated here in Lake Country.

The ladder truck also makes it provides firefighters with a way to put water on a fire from an elevated position. This is an advantage that fire insurance underwriters look for in communities and it helps to keep their rates down.

Also in attendance at the open house was John Sofonoff of J.L. Mobile Service Fire and Safety Equipment. Sofonoff is the fire department’s go-to man for any questions relating to fire extinguishers. He spoke with attendees about different types of fire extinguishers and the need to maintain them in operational condition.

Sofonoff says extinguishers are categorized by the types of fires that they’re designed to put out. An extinguisher marked with an ‘A’ is designed to put out wood and paper fires. A ‘B’ extinguisher is used to put out grease, solvent, and gasoline fires. A ‘C’ means that the extinguisher is safe to use on a fire with an electrical source. Sofonoff says ideally people should look for a metal-handled multipurpose extinguisher that is rated for all three categories.

The kids who attended the event were kept busy all morning climbing through the fire trucks and playing firefighter training games such as aiming a hose at a stop sign to knock it over.

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