Southeast Whiteshell Fire Department History


The main fire hall is located at West Hawk Lake with a secondary sub-station at Falcon Lake.




Southeast Whiteshell Fire
Department History

The Historic Pictures Below are in full size
In the gallery link above



                  

                  

                  

  




Southeast Whiteshell Fire Department

 

The History of the SouthEast Whiteshell Fire Department

The Whiteshell Provincial Park,  administered by the Provincial Government Parks Branch, had never had any proper fire suppression equipment or personnel for structure fires.  When a fire occurred in the park, fire crews were sent in to protect the surrounding forest area only, and unfortunately many cottages and businesses were destroyed that could have been prevented with a proper fire department.

In 1981, after two local fires, one a cottage and the other a business, two business owners decided to take matters into their own hands and purchase a fire truck for the area.  Don & Nyn Draper, owners of Tall Pine Lodges and Duke & Joanne Dacquay of the West Hawk Inn, went 50/50 on the purchase of a 1960 Ford pumper truck for $1000 which had been retired from the city of Winnipeg.

Once the truck was purchased, Pat Mason, who along with his wife Bev was the owner of Major Service Centre,  volunteered to be the official " Fire Chief" as he had previous experience from his former home town of Morden.

The next step was to house the truck, and a deal was struck between the fire department, Eagle Bus Lines (Fehrway Tours) and Manitoba Conservation to take over the old bus depot building, where the current West Hawk Firehall is located.  Don, Duke and Pat with volunteer help, insulated and heated the old building for year round storage of the truck.

The original fire department personnel on record were:

Pat Mason - Fire Chief,   Bob Partridge - Assistant Fire Chief,   Don Draper - Secretary/Treasurer,   Bert Duncan - Fundraising,   Duke Dacquay,  Tom Tod, Lorne Persoage,  Brian Vinet,  Kirk Mason,   Bill Shedden,  Scott Schortinghuis, Gord Mason and Joan Robertson.

Through numerous generous local businesses, organizations, and cottagers, the fire department inventory began to grow with equipment and personnel.  An older van was purchased for a rescue vehicle, and an addition was put on to the old depot to house it.

With growing interest in the department by all area users, a campaign was launched to raise funds for a new proper fire hall and upgraded equipment.  Parks Branch was also supportive with the idea as the department was providing an essential service to the area.  Loans were taken out, grants were applied for and area residents, business owners and cottagers donated money to make the new hall a reality.

A number of years later, it was realized that a sub-station with a second truck was needed for Falcon Lake, and again area users stepped up with donations to make it happen.

The SouthEast Whiteshell Fire Department started out as a volunteer service, and to this day is still fully staffed by volunteers.  It's success is due to the many area people who have graciously donated their valuable time either in the past or currently.  It is their dedication that has turned the department into a highly trained and efficient crew who are on call 24/7 for 365 days a year.

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