Maidstone says tanks a lot

By Jessica Dempsey

April 20, 2017 12:00 AM

WATER FRIENDS FOR? Members of the Maidstone Fire Department and othercommunity members stand in front of a water tank trailer that was donated to the department by Baytex Energy Corp. The tank will be vital in battling blazes in remote areas where there are no hydrants or readily available water sources which can supply firefighters when they're up against an inferno. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Baytex Energy Ltd. recently donated a water tanker trailer to the Maidstone Waseca and District Fire Board.
The eight-year-old tanker will replace the older one, which has been on its last leg.
“We had an existing tanker and its life span is starting to expire,” said fire chief Murray Lundquist.
“So, we approached different oil companies and Baytex (Energy Corp.) was able to step up for us,” he said.
Baytex took an oil tanker and refurbished it, and presented it to the board.
Having the tanker is extremely valuable, especially for a fire board that works in a rural area.
“When we’re fighting fire in the rural (areas) it’s a huge asset to us,” said Lundquist. “Basically it gives us a portable water supply to take with is.”
Being able to bring a water tanker to more remote rural areas where water isn’t accesible improves the chances of stopping the fires as less time will be used having to refill the fire trucks.
“Lots of times the weakest link on a rural department is a water supply,” said Lundquist.
“So, for us to be able to bring a water supply with us it enables us to keep our trucks fighting a fire on the scene as opposed to running and getting water,” he said, noting the tank is “basically invaluable.”
The idea to donate the water tanker trailer came from Cal Nicholson, who has been a local contract operator at Baytex Energy for the last 17 years, but also volunteers as the deputy fire chief in Maidstone.
“When Cal first found out the hall was in need of a new water tanker trailer he sort of made the connection … and maybe there was a partnership we (could) do. So, really it came out of that,” said Erin Cripps, community relations representative for Baytex Energy.
Cripp noted it was a match made in heaven that they could partner together, as it was invaluable to smaller communities.
“We understand how those resources, upgrading those resources, means so much in a small community and where they don’t have to pay that out in funding,” she added.
Usually, oil and gas companies put the used equipment up for auction, but Cripps mentioned this idea seemed like a good option.
“We just thought what better way to give back to the community,” she said.
“We’ve got so many people involved with the fire hall, and it’s a nice way to partner in the local community, and we were fortunate enough to do it this time.”
The department had been talking to oil companies throughout the last four to five months as they needed the new tanker.
“We have been talking with oil companies over the winter … just looking for a trailer we could even purchase to replace the trailer we have,” he added.
“We are really grateful for Baytex donating something to that nature.”
With the donated water tanker trailer, Lundquist said he expects a long life coming from it.
“They pretty much went through it from front to back so that will last us,” he said.
“I’m expecting another 10 years or so for sure, if not longer.”

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