District News

Chester Basin FD Mourns Passing of Honorary Member

It is with sadness that the CBVFD announces the sudden death of one of their cherished Honorary members. Andrew "Nelson" Eisner died suddenly on March 1st, 2013. He was 83 years young. Nelson was a long time resident of Chester Basin who assisted his local fire department in numerous ways over the years. His mechanical aptitude and workmanship was utilized many times as the firefighters came up against a problem within the hall or with a piece of firefighting equipment. Although his health didn't allow him to contribute as much over the past few years, he rarely missed an opportunity to drop by the fire hall during monthly breakfasts and other events. Nelson's generosity and sunny attitude won many hearts within the fire department and community at large. He will be greatly missed by many of his firefighter family and friends. Rest in peace, Nelson, and may those who took the time to know you, treasure the knowledge and good tidings you bestowed among us.


School Bus Extrication

School buses are on the road every day. These vehicles come in a variety of configurations and are used by not only schools but other groups ranging from church groups to sports teams. Picture3First responders that are well trained in extrication techniques for cars and light trucks will be confronted with much different challenges at a school bus incident. Over twenty three firefighters from Blandford, Hubbards, Chester Basin ,Chester, and Prospect (HRM) spent the day on August 19, 2012 at the Blandford Fire hall reviewing response and rescue techniques involved in a response to a accident involving a school bus. Staring the day off with a safety briefing, the crews performed cribbing techniques and extrication work on the vehicles. The Municipality has purchased a training video on School Bus Extrication which is available for Department training sessions.


Diamond Jubilee Awards


We are very pleased to announce that Wendy Rafuse of Chester Basin FD and Duke Chafe of Chester FD were the proud recipients of the QEII Diamond Jubilee Award. To date there were only 10 awards to members of the Fire Services across the Province.

Wendy Rafuse has been involved with the Chester Basin Volunteer Fire Department and its auxiliary since 1982. She was President of the Chester Basin Firettes from 1984 – 1994. She continues today as an active Medical First Responder using her nursing skills to assist patients and fellow firefighters and serves as Secretary of the Fire Department. Wendy is the Zone Co-ordinator for the Fire Services Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) team for the South Shore and volunteers with the RCMP CIR team, providing workshops concerning Critical Incident Stress Management as well as Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) and safeTALK (Suicide Alertness for Everyone). In 2003, Wendy received an award from the Nova Scotia Community College, for providing outstanding service to the college during the roll out NSCC's Critical Incident Response Handbook. She also has awards for her dedication from the RCMP, Province of NS as well as the Maritime Forces Atlantic CISM Team for her work during the SwissAir Flight 111 disaster in 1998. Wendy is a Commissioner for Fire District IV (Chester Basin) and vice Chairperson the Fire Advisory Committee for the Chester Municipality.

Picture6Duke moved to Chester in 1974 from New Brunswick. He has been a active member of the Chester Fire Department since 1978 and has been Fire Chief for the past 8 years. He received his Nova Scotia Proboard Level 1 certification and his Certificate in Fire Service Leadership from Dalhousie University. Duke received his Exemplary Service medal and the Provincial Long Service award for 20 and 25 years of active fire service in Chester. In 2009 he received his 30 year medal and was nominated for the Municipal Volunteer award under the Provincial programs. He is an active member of the Chief Officers Review committee that works with Municipal Council's the Fire Advisory Committee on fire services issues within the District of Chester. Duke actively serves his community in other areas as a member of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 44 and the Clarke Lodge # 61. He is always giving a helping hand in the many community events.

Both Wendy and Duke have agreed to travel to Ottawa on September 8th to receive their medal at the CVFSA ceremony and will also represent us at the dedication of the Fallen Firefighter Memorial on September 9th. Congratulations to both Wendy and Duke on their Diamond Jubilee medals. They are both most deserving of the honor.


Safe Grad 2012

On the morning of June 7, 2012 the Chester Basin Volunteer Fire Department conducted a simulated  emergency response to a motor vehicle accident as part of the Safe Grad events at the Forest Height Community School. Approximately 100 Grade 12 students participated and had the opportunity of observing our firefighters triage the victims, stabilize the vehicle and then extricate the patients trapped in the vehicle. Hydraulic cutters and spreaders were used to cut the vehicle's posts allowing access to the patients.

DSC02525The RCMP discussed the criminality and penalties of impaired driving and " arrested " the driver on scene. Important safety messages were discussed with the students. Members from the Chester, New Ross and Western Shore Volunteer Fire Department and representatives of the Municipality of the District of Chester assisted in this important safety event. Four of our graduating students volunteered to be the " victims". Paramedics from EHS kindly assisted in patient care and transport. DSC02523

Anne Walker, Safe Grad representative for the Forest Heights Community School expressed her appreciation for the demonstration and the important safety messages for the graduating students.

Thanks to all for their great efforts at this important event. Please visit the Chester Basin Photogallery at www.chesterfire.ca for more photos of the safe grad demonstration.



Chester Basin FD Celebrates 30 Years of Emergency Service



The Chester Basin Volunteer Fire Department (CBVFD) proudly celebrates 30 years of protecting the citizens and visitors of Chester Basin (District 4) and its neighboring communities. With over 30 professional volunteers, they provide emergency services for fire, medical first response, motor vehicle collisions, ice and water rescue, and many other calls for assistance. They have a very broad responsibility for the overall safety of the community.

In the 1960's and 1970's, fire and emergency response in Chester Basin was originally provided by trucks and equipment on loan from the Department of Civil Defense and contracted response services from other neighboring fire departments. 

In 1981 the need to improve these services was realized and following a local community election to raise a fire tax, on June 1, 1982, the Chester Basin Volunteer Fire Department was formed. 

There were 27 original charter members of the Department. These dedicated volunteers were; Dean Fitch, Chris Mader, Bill Falkenham, Richard Eldridge, Len Stevens, Peter Fitch, Jim Eisnor, Garnet Rafuse, Don Rafuse, Craig Rafuse, Vaughn Russell, Art Backman, Cliff McKinnon, Bill Morrow, Mervin Webber, Art Stevens, Russell Walker, Richard Countway, R. David Stevens, Gordon DeLong, Carl Clinton, Roy Zwicker, John Hatt Sr., Randy Hatt, Gib Russell, Tom Hatt and Robert Hatt

The Department purchased their first tanker in 1982 from Nictaux Fire Department for the grand sum of $10,000. The same year, the CBVFD also purchased an emergency response van to assist the firefighters in their response to local emergencies. Their first fire call was on June 9th, 1982 . The  first station attached to the Legion, soon ran out of operating space and the Department started construction in 1984 on a new hall located on Highway 3 where, in fact, they are still situated today.    

The Department’s first major response was in 1983 when there was a major fire at the Petro Canada Service Station. In the 1990's the volunteer firefighters worked to control major fires at Corkum's Bucket Factory and Robert Hatt's mill. Later in the early 2000’s, the Department fought a large fire at the Wayne Millett log mill. The volunteer crews worked very hard, with the aid of the neighboring departments via mutual aid, to control these emergency incidents.

Over the next years as the community and its needs continued to grow, the CBVFD needed to replace their equipment and add updated technology to address new community risks. Today it has a very capable fleet of modern fire fighting apparatus consisting of 3 Pumper/Tankers and a fully equipped Rescue unit.CB_Fleet

Volunteers work very hard to provide these services to District 4. They are proud of the community, its citizens and the important role they play in protecting and preserving a safe way of life. The department membership in liaison with the Fire Protection Commission for District 4 is fully dedicated to protecting and preserving the quality of life, property and environment through education, leadership, and effective emergency response. This volunteer service is provided 24 hours a day, seven days a week throughout the community.

Currently, the Department has 33 active members including 5 of the original charter members. They are Gordon DeLong, Jim Eisnor, Richard Eldridge, Bill Falkenham and Craig Rafuse. As well, Wendy Rafuse was a charter member of the Firettes, the department auxiliary, which held its first meeting in May 1982. She started responding to medical calls and MVA’s with the department in 1988 and became a regular member in January 1995 at which time she became the department secretary and remains so today.

Safety comes first to the membership and ongoing training helps the Department ensure that its firefighters are well prepared and in a constant state of readiness to deal with any emergency in the community.

Over the next few years, the Department and Commission recognize they will face new and challenging issues. The technology for responding to these new risks continues to advance and through active training programs they are committed to upholding the most recent standards in emergency response. 

The Department members would be proud to show you the apparatus and equipment required to respond to these emergencies. Perhaps you may even be interested in providing some of your valuable time in helping out these dedicated volunteers. They always welcome the assistance. More information on the Chester Basin Volunteer Fire Department can be found on the fire services web site at www.chesterfire.ca

It is with great pleasure that the Municipality of the District of Chester recognizes and extends congratulations to all members of the Chester Basin Volunteer Fire Department.  Your commitment and long standing service to the community is commendable and much appreciated.


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