Residents of the Baptiste Lake region, volunteer firefighters and elected officials celebrated the official opening a new fire hall on August 15, 2015. Located along Highway 2 and within the Summer Village of South Baptiste, the Baptiste Fire Hall’s location will help first responders provide centralized fire and rescue services to six summer villages and the surrounding County region.
Construction of the new fire hall is the result of a funding agreement between the Summer Villages of West Baptiste, South Baptiste, Island Lake South, Island Lake, Sunset Beach, Whispering Hills and Athabasca County. The equalized assessment funding formula was based on populations in the municipalities.
The business sector and private individuals also played an important part in making the fire hall a reality. The Baptiste Fire Club has a thank-you posted in the new hall recognizing the municipal partners, as well as The Vandervaate Family, Patry Contracting Inc. (Brian Patry) and David Gray Enterprises Inc. for their contributions.
“We are very proud of our volunteer firefighters who contribute their time and energy towards providing fire protection services to our County,” said Doris Splane, Reeve of Athabasca County following the opening. “It is our hope this new fire hall and the equipment within it will serve this region for many years to come.”
Larry Armfelt, Councilor for Division 8, spoke about the partnerships that made the fire hall a reality.
“We can accomplish more by working together than we can individually,” he said. “It’s these kind of agreements that will continue to make a difference as we consider similar investments like this in the region.”
The opening provided everyone with an opportunity to enjoy a barbecue lunch and some time to check out the new fire hall and equipment within it. The Baptiste Fire Department is one of nine volunteer fire departments to provide fire protection in Athabasca County.