Sundre, county looking at boat options

Provincial flood grant money gives the Sundre fire department enough to cover the cost of purchasing a river rescue boat that the fire chief said they need.

Provincial flood grant money gives the Sundre fire department enough to cover the cost of purchasing a river rescue boat that the fire chief said they need.

But the Town of Sundre and Mountain View County still have to decide if they’re willing to pay for the operating cost of the boat before it can be purchased.

Fire Chief Marty Butts has long wanted to bring in a river rescue boat. The fire department uses inflatable boats that don’t have a motor, making it hard to access some rescues.

A river rescue boat would allow the fire department to traverse the Red Deer River and other waterways for rescues.

Currently they rely on personal boats for this function, but this has its limitations and he believes they would be better served with a rescue boat of their own.

“We don’t have anything to go up or down stream,” said Butts. “We’ve had scenarios where we have to go pick up canoers who had their canoe tip over and it’s down the river with all their belongings and they are stranded on an island.

“How do you get upstream to do that?”

The funding comes through a readiness grant, of which Sundre received $96,175.

The town applied for the funding in the wake of the June 2013 flood that devastated parts of Southern Alberta.

Butts said they already used some of the grant money from the province to purchase new life-jackets, ropes and carabineers. They lost a significant amount of these rescue items during the flood. But the big ticket item is the boat.

“Our chief administrative officer (Dave Dubauskas) pushed it forward,” said Butts. “It’s been one of my goals when I became chief to improve our gear and a boat is one of them.”

Butts thinks the town is on board, he just has to sell the idea to the county. The boat and the rescues will take place throughout the county, not just in Sundre.

He concedes, if the purchase is approved, that the boat may not arrive until the fall.

“With the river coming through our community it is a big draw for summer events,” said Butts. “We have kids tubing throughout the summer, kayaking, canoeing, river rafting companies use it. It gets used quite a bit.”

Just Posted

Updated: Red Deer welcomes 2019 Canada Winter Games Team Alberta

About 250 Alberta athletes are participating in the Games

Syrian immigrants feel welcomed

Winter Social held at Festival Hall to promote multiculturalism

Small group rallies with pro-immigration message

Group wanted to counter misinformation on United Nations migration agreement

Trump says ‘things are going very well’ with North Korea

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Saturday that “things are going very… Continue reading

NDP won’t stop until Trans Mountain is built, says minister

Deron Bilous speaks at Red Deer chamber luncheon

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Kriechmayr edges Swiss favourite Feuz to win WCup downhill

WENGEN, Switzerland — It takes a special run to beat Switzerland’s best… Continue reading

WestJet plane heading to Victoria slides off Edmonton runway, no injuries

EDMONTON — A WestJet plane has slid off an icy taxiway at… Continue reading

Sam Bennett scores twice, Flames beat Red Wings 6-4

Flames 6, Red Wings 4 CALGARY — Sam Bennett scored twice including… Continue reading

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Most Read