Crafty in Beasley: Building Partnership

Thanks to funding from the Regional District of Central Kootenay and the Columbia Basin Trust, the Beasley Rescue Society has a new home for its lifesaving equipment.

At an event commemorating the completion of the building yesterday, Beasley Fire Chief Al Craft said the project “is a strong symbol of the power of partnership.”

The four-bay facility houses a variety of vehicles and equipment, including a structural protection unit—a trailer carrying sprinkler equipment which can be deployed throughout the regional district to protect homes in case of wildfire.

“I’m ecstatic that we can support water and rope rescue and have a safer community,” said Tom Newell, Electoral Area F Director, noting that his predecessor, Ron Mickel, was also a strong supporter of the project from its inception.

“Beasley’s rescue personnel work hard and play a key role in ensuring that residents can live the lifestyles they want,” said Wayne Lundberg of the Columbia Basin Trust.

“This was Al’s vision,” said Monica Spencer, Beasley’s Deputy Fire Chief, referring not just to the building but to the rescue society itself.

The Society was founded in 1997 by Craft and then Chief Tom Brach in response to several “near misses” on the Kootenay River. Seeing the need for specialized rescue training and equipment, they raised money and accessed BC Gaming grants which enabled the fledgling group to purchase a command vehicle and other equipment for the fire department.  Nevertheless, in those early days, Chief Craft and others donated much of their own time and personal equipment, including wet suits and an inflatable boat.

Craft is quick to commend all the organizations that have enabled the Beasley Rescue Society to evolve and flourish. “We couldn’t have done it without the assistance of BC Gaming at the outset.  Fortis BC has been a huge help to us over the years and a good corporate citizen.  We wouldn’t have this new building today without the funds we received from the Columbia Basin Trust.  And the RDCK Area E and F directors have been very supportive and assisted with the necessary funding to finalize the project.” 

Today, the Beasley Fire Department responds to emergencies throughout the region on land and water. A specialized embankment rope rescue apparatus enables crews to reach 600’ down a slope, a service which proved beneficial when a vehicle left the highway on the Kootenay Pass. Volunteers are also trained in swiftwater rescue. 

“We’ve come a long way after starting with nothing.  When I retire I can feel that we’ve brought this Society to a good spot,” reflects Craft.

- 30 – 

For further information, please contact:

Al Craft, Chief,
Beasley Fire Rescue
250-359-7535

 

The content on this page was last updated July 6 2016 at 8:48 AM