Our Department: Yesterday,Today and Tommorrow
Our Department proudly protects the citizens and visitors to the community of Chester Basin, Nova Scotia.
In the 1960's the Fire and Emergency response in Chester Basin was originally provided by trucks and equipment on loan from the Department of Civil Defense. Later in the 1970's, we contracted response services from other departments including Western Shore and Chester. We recognized however that there was a need to improve our overall services to the local community.
In 1981 we began to get some volunteers together and began some training programs as a new response team. We worked together to put ourselves in a position to establish our own Department for our growing community.
After a lot of hard work, we held an election to raise our community fire tax and formed the The Chester Basin Volunteer Fire Department on June 1,1982.
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 Hat.
We purchased our first tanker in 1982 for the grand sum of $10,000 from Nictaux. The new truck was used for much of the required training of the department's original members.
We now had the capability of responding quickly with our own apparatus and crew.
We also puchased an emergency response van in the same year and featured it in the Heritage Day Parade of August 1982.
Now we had a basic apparatus fleet but needed a base from which to operate. We did not wait very long to start planning for a new facility.
On September 18,1982 were had a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new station. It was small base but a big step for the department. We celebrated these events with our first Department Banquet on October 23,1982. A great time was had by all attending.
Much of the early months were spent getting familiar with the apparatus and new equipment. Our training programs were focused on developing a volunteer crew that was well prepared to deal with any emergency in the community. This intensive training has continued through the years to ensure that we are in a constant state of readiness. Safety comes first as we do all we can to protect our volunteer members.Training on hose lays and foam applications were just two areas of these important exercises.
We soon ran out of operating space and started construction in 1984 on a new hall located on Highway 3.
Our first significant response was in 1983 when there was a major fire at the Petro Canada Service Station.
In the 1990's we worked to control major fires at Corkum's Bucket Factory and the Robert Hatt's Mill. Later in the early 2000 we had a large fire at the Wayne Millett log mill. Our volunteer crews worked very hard to control these emergency incidents.Over the next years as the community and its needs continued to grow the Chester Basin Fire Department needed to replace their equipment and add new updated technology to address growing community risks.
The Chester Basin Fire Department today has a very capable fleet consisting of four modern fire fighting apparatus. This apparatus consists of 3 Pumper/Tankers and a fully equipped Rescue unit.
We are 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 our community.
Over the next few years we recognize that we will be faced with new and even more challenging issues. The technology for responding to these new risks continues to advance especially in the area of safety for our volunteers. Through active training programs we remain committed to upholding the most recent standards in emergency response.
Our volunteers work very hard to provide these services to the community of Chester Basin. We are proud of our community, its citizens and the important role we play in protecting and preserving our way of life.