On Saturday afternoon, the Beiseker Fire Department officially unveiled its newest water tender truck: Tender 130.

In honour of an old tradition, the push-in ceremony took place in front of the Beiseker Fire Hall. Members of the fire department including both present and past Fire Chiefs, the public, as well as the village's Mayor all came out for the celebration.

Beiseker Fire Department now has a new water tender truck in their bay. (Photo by Anna Ferensowicz)Beiseker Fire Department now has a new water tender truck in their bay. (Photo by Anna Ferensowicz)

Mayor Warren Wise thanked all the volunteer firefighters for the work they do, adding that the newest addition to the fire department is an added bonus.

"It was just two and a half years ago that the department was on the cusp of being shut down. So, it's pretty spectacular that we're standing here today, while welcoming a new apparatus into our bay," Fire Chief Nikki King added. 

Water Tender 130 is the newest piece of apparatus in the Beiseker Fire Hall. (Photo by Anna Ferensowicz)Water Tender 130 is the newest piece of apparatus in the Beiseker Fire Hall. (Photo by Anna Ferensowicz)

Fire Chief King also thanked the numerous groups and individuals who were part of the fundraising efforts that went towards the purchase of the truck. 

"There are a lot of people that I'd like to thank, but first of all, I'd like to start off with Deputy Chief Amanda Davies. This was her vision and her leadership that got us to this point. Without her, I don't think we would have the department that we have today. So thank you, Amanda."

Numerous firefighters attempted to push the 29,000 kilogram truck inside the fire hall but did need a little help from the driver of the truck at one point.

According to Chief King, the volunteer firefighters that staff the hall have accumulated over 18,000 hours of time in the department.

"We have members that come in from Calgary, they staff our halls, 24 hours a day. We're staffed seven days a week, 365 days a year. But, I think we need a big round of applause for volunteers because, without them, we wouldn't be standing here today," Chief King said.

However, the celebration wasn't just about celebrating the newest piece of firefighter equipment - it was also a chance for those who previously served in the fire hall to come back to a place that holds so many cherished memories. A retired volunteer firefighter who came to the celebration on Saturday said that he spent 15 years volunteering for the department; the reason was simple: to help people. He proudly pointed to a patch on his coat, saying that it was one of the older fire department emblems.

A retired volunteer firefighter proudly showed off a older fire patch on his coat from years ago. (Photo by Anna Ferensowicz)A retired volunteer firefighter proudly showed off an older fire patch on his coat from years ago. (Photo by Anna Ferensowicz)

Looking around the fire hall, he remembered that some years ago a Christmas tradition known as the candy cane run was one of his fondest memories. When asked if he would do it again or choose a different volunteering path, he smiled widely, saying he would of course choose to be a volunteer firefighter again.

The 1998 purchased water tender truck will be replacing the department's 1983 water tender. As Chief King, underlined, the Beiseker Fire Department's operating budget is very small, hence the $80,000 needed to purchase the water tender would not have been possible without the community's engagement. She also noted that the water tender is a vital piece of equipment for the department, especially in battling grass fires.

In response to Canada's Online News Act and Meta (Facebook and Instagram) removing access to local news from their platforms, DiscoverAirdrie encourages you to get your news directly from your trusted source by bookmarking this page and downloading the DiscoveryAirdrie app

Send your news tips, story ideas, pictures, and videos to news@discoverairdrie.com. You can also message and follow us on Twitter@AIR1061FM