Losing a fire hall to a ﬁre seems unimaginable, but this was the unfortunate case for Rose Valley, SK and the surrounding communities. In December 2015, a ﬁre caused by a faulty battery charger destroyed the Rose Valley & District Volunteer Fire Department’s hall and equipment, causing a huge gap between communities and certain emergency services, which were now unavailable to Rose Valley, the RM of Ponass Lake and the Village of Fosston.
“The heat was so intense it caused structural damage to the building and destroyed all of our equipment. The ladders and helmets melted while ﬁre suits had burns throughout,” says Dale Whitford, Fire Chief for the Rose Valley & District Volunteer Fire Department. “The loss of our ﬁre hall, ﬁre trucks and all equipment was overwhelming for the Rose Valley Fire Department and the communities we serve. Without local response, our communities now face long response times and greatly increased risk.”
Although the ﬁre department’s insurance helped cover a large portion of the $750,000 required for the new hall and equipment, the 18 volunteer ﬁre ﬁghters were tasked with raising the rest of the necessary funds to build a new hall and replace the equipment. Through the Richardson Foundation, Richardson Pioneer was happy to step up with a $50,000 donation earlier this spring.
“The volunteer ﬁre department is made up of people we live with in the community and producers we do business with. They are the people on the scene ﬁghting ﬁres, providing support for vehicular accidents, assisting with environmental spills and more,” says Carter Kolybaba, Director of Operations for Richardson Pioneer Wadena. “At Richardson Pioneer, we are proud to invest in projects that matter to help ensure the safety of the people in our communities.”
The Rose Valley Fire Department expects to have their new ﬁre hall fully operational by the end of August 2016.