PAFD lends a hand to volunteer department

By Taylor MacPherson
January 17, 2018 - 5:00pm

The Prince Albert Fire Department lent a spare radio to a local volunteer fire service after theirs was stolen during a break-in.

Celeste Maltais, firefighter with the West Central Volunteer Fire Department, said their P25 radio was stolen from their fire hall West of Prince Albert Sunday night. The radio was crucial to the small department’s operations, Maltais explained, because without it their firefighters had no easy way to communicate with 911 dispatchers from the field. While emergency dispatches could still be received through a cellular service, Maltais said the radio is essential for quick communication with dispatchers.

Maltais said the theft caused serious concerns at the small volunteer department, which serves the R.M. of Duck Lake, because the radio is worth about $4,000 and could not be quickly replaced. Those worries disappeared, she said, when Prince Albert’s Fire Chief Jason Everitt send her a message offering to loan the West Central department one of their spare radios.

“He offered us a P25 radio for our department to use,” Maltais said. “That was amazing of him to lend us that, and we’re very thankful.”

First responders need to be able to count on each other for assistance, Maltais said, which is something the Prince Albert Fire Department clearly understands.

“It’s so nice to be able to count on our partners,” she said. “The professionalism that P.A. showed here, in helping the volunteer department, was really awesome.”

Maltais said they are still hoping the stolen radio will be recovered. The radio is useless to the thief, she said, but invaluable to the fire department’s daily operations.

Prince Albert Fire Chief Jason Everitt told paNOW he reached out to Maltais immediately after hearing about their situation. Communication is essential, he said, and the radio is one of the most important tools for any fire department.

“That, to me, is a critical deficit that needed to be addressed immediately,” he said. “Communication is critical to everything that we’re doing.”

Everitt said the Prince Albert department had a spare radio on hand, so it only made sense to loan it to the smaller, volunteer department.


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