The Moricetown Volunteer Fire Department has proven themselves the top First Nations firefighters in the province as they prepare to head to Winnipeg.
The firefighting team has been quickly rising in the ranks in firefighting competitions. After placing first in the regionals, they went to Terrace and were put to the test against fire departments from all over the province for Provincials.
They again came out on top.
Their next step is to take off for Winnipeg where they’ll see how they stack up against an entire country’s worth of firefighters.
“We won the provincial fire competition in Terrace on June 25. The community is just coming together to recognize us,” said Fire Chief Desmond McKinnon at a special dinner in the Moricetown Multiplex.
The way the points fell, the fire department made it all look easy.
McKinnon said that they finished with 375 points. The team in second had 320.
“It actually feels pretty good,” said McKinnon. “It’s a thankless job. We’ve been doing it so long. We don’t do it for recognition and it always feel good when the community sees it.”
McKinnon took over the Fire Chief position last October and the Moricetown Fire Department has eight firemen right now.
Things have thankfully slowed down for the crew but over the winter they said they were fairly busy, mostly with 9-1-1 and first responder calls. At its peak they had about four to five calls a month, but not many were fire calls.
There was not much he could say about the secret to their success, other than frequent practice.
“We roll hoses with the best of them.”
The competition will get even more fierce at nationals, which will include events such as climbing ladders wearing full breathing apparatuses and pulling hoses. And those hoses are much heavier than they look.
The fire fighting team is running into this next challenge head on.
“We’re pumped. We’re going to Winnipeg,” said McKinnon.
Aside from all the competitions, he praised a fantastic crew that work hard even when there’s no prize on the line.
“I’ve got a good team here. We’re all friends and … I can’t say enough about how proud I am of them. Not just for the competition. Just in general.”