District News

Western Shore Welcomes Utility 711


On October 26, 2011 the Western Shore Volunteer Fire Department acquired its new Utility Unit 711.  Several of our Departments helped in accompanying the new truck enroute to the fire station and welcoming the new apparatus to the community at an open house at the hall.  The new unit replaces the previous utility truck, a 1981 Chevrolet van.

pop_004aUnit 711 is a 2012 Dodge 4X4 1 ton Megacab with a Cummings Diesel engine. It will hold 5 firefighters and is equipped with medical first aid equipment including a  backboard. The Department has also added equipment for forest fire suppression including 4 back tanks, extinguishers, rakes and shovels. It is equipped with a 8 thousand pound winch.  It is planned to add some spill kits in the future to assist with minor fluid spills.




Stevensville 2, October 23, 2011


On Sunday, October 23, 2011 our seven district Fire Departments participated in a mutual aid fire practice named Operation Stevensville 2. 

DSCF1015The scope of Operation Stevensville 2, included a multi-department paged emergency response to a reported structure fire located Marriott's Cove.  

The objective of this scenario based practice was to continue the training our volunteer firefighters on setting up and executing commands involved in search and rescue, initial structural attack, cascade operations and firefighter rehab. Another critical objective was to practice our mutual aid response capability and joint incident command.



The seven Departments also demonstrated their ability to provide sufficient supplies of water from more remote locations in the Municipality, in this case, over 10 km away, from Millet's pond on Highway 12 in Chester Grant. DSCF1010

The department water tankers hauled over 67,000 gallons of water and the department attack pumpers flowed in excess of 500 gallons per minute for nearly two hours.  DSCF1013






The Departments will receive a Superior Water Shuttle certification from Fire Underwriters.



We were also very pleased to see our fellow firefighters from the Town of Bridgewater on the practice scene. They kindly set up and demonstrated the operations of  their Ladder 2 aerial apparatus. 

All seven departments participated with apparatus and personnel. We had great participation as approximately 70 of our members joined into the training. We also had participation from other support agencies such as EHS, REMO, RCMP and NS Public Service.

More photos of the mutual aid practice can be found in the Photo Galleries of the department web pages.


Blandford Commission supports increase in volunteer tax credits


On August 8, 2011, the Commission for Fire Protection for the District of Blandford and District 1 unanimously passed a motion requesting that the Province of Nova Scotia increase the Volunteer Firefighters and Ground Search & Rescue Tax Credit to $ 1000 at the earliest opportunity. The commission noted that all volunteer fire departments are facing challenges with recruitment and retention of volunteers to serve their communities. Volunteer firefighting has become a challenging job with more training requirements to meet changing regulations. And it isn't limited to fires which in themselves have become more complicated and often feature hazardous materials. Communities like ours depend on our volunteer firefighters as medical first responders for medical emergencies and accidents. An EMS ambulance with paramedics has to come from Hubbards or Chester so our volunteers are always first on the scene in those critical first few minutes of an emergency.

The commission believes the tax credit increase is a prudent and appropriate way for the province to recognize the work of the approximately 7000 volunteer firefighters in Nova Scotia. It may also be an added incentive for the recruitment of new volunteers. In the Motion, the commission asks fire agencies and provincial politicians to support and promote this increase in the tax credit for our volunteer firefighters.


New Honda Outboards for Chester Rescue Boat


The Chester Volunteer Fire Department received a new pair of 135 hp Honda outboard motors for the Boston Whaler Fire and Rescue Boat. This significant donation is from Carroll Bridgewater Honda Powerhouse and some anonymous Chester residents.

Structure fire at Martins River


Firefighters from Mahone Bay, Martins River and Western Shore were called to a house fire at 185 East Side Martins River Road on the late afternoon of June 16, 2011. Lunenburg and Chester Basin Departments were on standby. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

For a video clip please go to the South Shore News



Safe Grad at Forest Heights Community School





On the morning of June 9, 2011 the Chester Basin Volunteer Fire Department organized a mock emergency response to a motor vehicle accident as part of the Safe Grad events at the Forest Height Community School. Over 100 Grade 12 students participated and had the opportunity of observing our firefighters triage the victims, stabilize the vehicle and then extricate the four victims that had been trapped in the vehicle. Hydraulic cutters and spreaders were used to cut the vehicle's posts and pull back the roof. The 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 assisted in this important safety event. Brochures from the MADD organization were provided for the students.



Junior Firefighters Training Weekend


On May 14 and 15, 2011, for the third consecutive year, our junior firefighters from across the county participated in an extensive training program. The week end was a great success!



There were 55 junior firefighters from 12 different departments including: Hubbards, Chester, Martins River, Bridgewater, Lunenburg, Dayspring, Oakhill, Hebbs Cross, Italy Cross, Baker Settlement, Midville Branch and Western Shore.

The youth participated in Vehicle Extrication, BA/TIC training, Medical, Ropes, Knots, Ladders, Porta Tanks, Firestreams, Fire Extinguishers, Pumps, and had a demonstration from DNR. Each junior was presented with a certificate and tee shirt at the end of the weekend.

Many thanks to all the department  volunteers that not only helped instructing the juniors but also kept things going behind the scene, in the kitchen, cleaning up, organizing and keeping all the kids engaged and accounted for.

Two senior members from Aylsford Fire Dept visited the training are are interested in participating in next year's event.

The Juniors are the future of our fire service. We hope to see even more participants next year.




Western Shore and Municipality Recognize Volunteer Firefighter


roy_lohnesRoy Lohnes joined the Western Shore and District Fire Department in 1973.  For 37 years Roy has been a great asset to our Department.  In the past Roy has held the position of Safety Officer, 1st and 2nd Engineer but truly enjoys just being a firefighter...helping where he can.

Roy is always ready to lend a helping hand getting ready for our Annual Garden Party in August.  He is there to build /repair the booths or to fix any small repairs at the Hall and to man the radio at our station during fire calls.  Roy lends a helping hand with a smile where needed, even though he sometimes finds it difficult to get around, he pushes through showing his dedication to the Western Shore & District Fire Department.

During all of his years in our small community, Roy has been a volunteer such as starting an all boys group for the Bethel Mission Church in Martin's Point.  We would like to thank Roy for his many years of service and hope to see him continue to teach the younger generation about dedication to community.  On behalf of the Western Shore and District Fire Department and the Municipality of the District of Chester, we extend congratulations to Roy Lohnes, our Volunteer for 2011.


New Pumper 631 For Chester Basin


After over two years of planning and very hard work the Chester Basin Volunteer Fire Department has officially put their new pumper Unit 631 in service. Unit 631 is a 2011 Spartan Furion with a custom built Metalfab body. It has a 1250 Waterous pump and carries 1000 gallons of water on board. This first out pumper carries a crew of 6 firefighters.



The new Unit 631 was officially brought into service at the Department open house held on April 2, 2011. The Department officially dedicated the new truck in the name of Sylvia Webber. Sylvia is an honorary member of the Chester Basin Volunteer Fire Department who has worked very hard on fund raising events for the Department. It was announced at the open house that Sylvia has raised over $90,000, an outstanding contribution.

The new pumper replaces the 1980 Mack pumper that had served the department well over the past years. 



( Photo; L to R Chief Cody Stevens and  Honorary Member Sylvia Webber cut the ribbon bringing the new Unit 631 into service. MLA Denise Peterson-Rafuse, Commission Chairperson Bruce Brophy and Lieutenant Engine Kyle Swinimer assisted )


Potentially Serious Fire Stopped


The Chester Volunteer Fire Department took quick action in controlling a fire on the Corkum property in Robinsons Corner.  There was no major structural damage. More importantly there were no injuries.

Ivan Corkum, whose son owns the property in question said that the quick response by the fire department saved the property and they owe them a lot of  thanks.

Initially the fire was considered dangerous and the Chester Fire Department decided to bring in its mutual aid departments from Chester Basin and Western Shore. They did also put in a call as to the availability of the DNR water carrier helicopter.  Deputy Chief David Richardson took the precaution of putting the residents on Wake Up Hill Road on potential evacuation notice should it spread too quickly.

Mr. Corkum said it was the neighbors who first noticed the fire and called it in. The cause of the fire is yet to be determined.


Fire at Gun Club


On Friday evening, October 8  at approximately 11:00 pm the Chester Fire Department responded to a fire alarm at the Captain Kidd Rod and Gun Club in East Chester. The structure was fully involved when the Fire Department arrived. Crews from the Chester Basin Fire Department assisted at the scene. The 63 year old structure was unfortunately lost. There were no injuries. 


Volunteer Firefighter Appreciation


At a reception and dinner held on October 1, 2010 at the Atlantica Hotel and Oak Island Marina, volunteer firefighters, medical first responders, and fire department support members of the seven Fire Departments of The Municipality of the District of Chester were recognized and thanked for their selfless dedication and invaluable service to the community. This was the third annual recognition dinner honoring the efforts of our volunteer first responders.

Fire Department members from Blandford, Chester, Chester Basin, New Ross, Hubbards, Martin River and Western Shore attended and were honored for their dedication to the community's emergency response services. There are currently over 200 men and women who serve as first responders in our District, all of whom put in many hours each month in training and emergency response.

The recognition event was co-sponsored by Denise Peterson-Rafuse, MLA for Chester and St. Margaret's Bay, The Municipality of the District of Chester, The Chester Municipal Chamber of Commerce, The Aspotogan Heritage Trust and Atlantica Hotel and The Oak Island Marina. Many local area businesses and the Chester Village Commission also contributed to the recognition dinner.

Matthew MacKenzie, General Manager of the Atlantica Hotel and Oak Island Marina, welcomed all the fire department members and invited guests. He stressed his true appreciation of the volunteer emergency services in protecting our lives and properties.

Denise Peterson-Rafuse thanked the firefighters for their dedication in serving their community, saving lives and protecting our homes, property and businesses. She was clear to point out that the men and women of our emergency services put their lives on the line for us each day and that all of this hard work is done on a volunteer basis. She offered her assistance as an advocate to provide ongoing support and assistance to the fire departments.

Erin Beaudin, CAO, Municipality of the District of Chester, followed with her appreciation of all the members of the departments. She stressed that the Municipality is working closely with the departments to ensure that they have the support they need. Erin mentioned the additional work that all Departmenst were doing during the Fire Prevention Week, October 3-9, 2010.

Denise and Erin then presented a plaque to each of the Fire Departments to recognize their dedication and ongoing support to the community.

Erin spoke further on her appreciation of the support that the family members give to the first responders. Every hour that they spend at an emergency scene or at the firehall is an hour away from their familiies. Without the support of the family members the role of the first responder whould be much more diffcult if not impossible.

The Fire Chiefs of all Departmenst were asked to rejoin Erin for the presentation of a Certificate of Appreciation for the Families. This certificate will be posted at each Fire Hall.

A donation to the IWK Burn Unit in the name of each seven departments will be made in October.

Everyone attending enjoyed the reception and dinner and appreciated the recognition of the ongoing efforts and community service.


Martin's River puts it new Tanker 852 in service


bbbMartin's River Fire Department has taken delivery of their new Tanker 852. The new tanker is on a 2010 International 7300 4x4 chassis. The tank pump and other equipment have been retrofitted from the old 1975 Ford 600 apparatus. Lantz Truck Bodies completed the new truck earlier this month.

The new Tanker 852 carries 1500 gallons of water and has pump capability with a 375 IGPM pump on board. The unit carries Department of Natural Resources response packs, spare hose, a portable pump and various nozzles. This tanker responds to all major fires and assists with traffic control when needed.




For more information please visit the Martin's River Apparatus and Equipment and their Photo Gallery.


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