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Our History - Serving Creston Since 1899

The Village of Creston established, by a motion of committee, to form a Fire Department on February 21, 1899 which was to meet on Thursdays at a general meeting. The chairman at the time of establishment was Col. Ed Mallandaine.

A motion was also made to appoint Mr. Joseph Wilson as the first Fire Chief of the department. A suggestion was made for proposing the first Fire Department volunteers list containing 29 names.

1923 - The Village of Creston purchased second hand equipment, 3 fire hydrants and discussed municipalization as a means of improving services.

1925 - Matt York was named Fire Chief.

1925 - A building was purchased and moved to 11th Avenue North for use as a fire hall. Village council also approved a purchase of four hats and coats, two ladders, six lanterns, four smoke masks and six spanners. Special committee requested that each member shall obligate himself while on duty to refrain from bad language, not to smoke or steal, or be under the influence of liquor and to carry out all orders without question. The Fire Department was comprised of 19 members.

October 1931 - $325 was authorized to refit a Chevy truck for the fire brigade. A fire bell was purchased for $116.17 for the fire hall and is still on display at the front of the existing hall.

July 1935 - Mr. Canute Anderson was appointed Fire Chief over the six man brigade.

November 1935 - Questions were raised over liability for out of town fires or if injuries occurred to firefighters.

June 1945 - Concerns were raised over passing trains inhibiting fire protection to one third of the village.

February 1951 - A new fire engine built by local persons, with a 175 pressure pump and 250 gallon tank, two wooden and one aluminum ladder .

February 1955 - Council decreed that the fire truck would remain within the village with the exception of the high school. The annual operating budget for the department was $995.50. The value of the fire hall building was $1497.94, Fire hall site $180.00, firefighting equipment $2195.76.

1956 - Lafrance Ford pumper known as Engine 1 was purchased under Fire Chief Hartley Buhler. This truck was in service till 1998 when it was sold to Pleasant Valley, Idaho.

1961 - The fire hall on 11th Avenue was demolished to build a new one. Fire department membership is nineteen. Fire Chief at that time was A.W. Lindistad.

1962 - The year that Harold Standen was promoted to Deputy Chief.

1965 - William (Bill) Carter was named Fire Chief.

1973 - A new Ford pumper truck was purchased, the truck was lime yellow in color instead of the traditional red.
1976 the fire protection was extended to an agreement with the Regional District of Central Kootenay.

July 1980 - Reginald (Reg) Longhurst was hired as Fire Chief with a membership of less than 12 firefighters.

March 1980 - Town Council members considered paying firefighters on a response basis or per hour rate; this is the closest date we found for the volunteer era change to a paid on call fire service.

1981 - The Town purchased the old Overwaitea Store at 200—10th Avenue North to renovate it into a better fire hall.

May 1982 - the newly renovated fire hall was opened after Blossom Fest, which is the current location of the fire hall today.

1986 - A new 1250 GPM Mac Engine was purchased from Anderson Engineering and put into service.

1990 - Creston Firefighters raised approximately $50,000 in funds through local persons, businesses and BC Lotteries to establish a 1987 GMC Rescue truck with extrication tools for road rescue work. Numerous hours of preparation and hands on work by Fire Department members went into making the service operational.

August 2000 - Fire Chief Longhurst announced his retirement and Fire Chief Bruce Mabin took over command of the service. There were 21 firefighters part-time paid on call at the time of Chief Longhurst’s retirement.

Creston Fire Department became Creston Fire & Rescue to more accurately describe the service. A department consensus was obtained to change the official color of the Fire Department vehicles back to traditional red from the yellow previous.

2001 - A Superior GMC 1050 GPM Engine was purchased and put into service as the front line engine. Council approved the purchase of new Self Contained Breathing Apparatus for each firefighter which improved individual firefighter safety and fire attack capabilities.

2002 - The 1986 Anderson Mack engine was refurbished and put on as second response.

2002 - The 1987 GMC Rescue truck chassis was sold and the aluminum box was modified and placed on a new 2002 Ford F550 crew cab 4 wheel drive.

2003 - A 2003 Sterling WaterMaster 2900 gallon fire service vacuum tender, the first of its kind in Canada was put in service to supply water to areas without hydrants. The vehicle is capable of filling and dumping in two minutes. The same year Creston attended it first major wild land interface fire as directed by the Provincial Fire Service implemented due to the large numbers and size of fires occurring that year. Protecting 19 homes with structural sprinkler systems on a 24 hr— two shifts per day for 8 days at Kuskanook. The fire grew to 3500 hectares moving down slope but stopped 500 feet from the nearest residence.

2004 - The need was recognized for issuing of wildland protective clothing and each firefighter is now supplied with the appropriate gear to safely and effectively fight wildland / interface fires.

2006 - Town Manager, James Thackray reported to Town Council on a review report of the Fire department which contained 19 recommendations for the department.

2006 - The NFPA 1001 “Standard for Professional Firefighter Qualifications” program was started with 24 members enrolled with the College of the Rockies Innovations program to allow firefighter to achieve credentials to an international standard. NFPA 472 “Standard for Professional Competence of Responders to Hazardous Materials Incidents” was also attended by 23 members.

July 2007 - The Town of Creston hired Michael Moore as the first full time Deputy Chief. Current membership of the department is 34 firefighters.

2007 - The Town received a Blackwell report on Interface Fire Recommendations for protection against the impact to the community for wildfire. This was the first interface fire report for the town and was introduced to Town Council with recommendations for mitigating the impact of a wildfire in the community. In August 2007 the report was adopted in principle by Town Council.

2007 - Council approved the Vehicle replacement reserve which outlines the capital budget needs for fire apparatus for the next 20 years and provides a funding outline for such.

October 2008 – 15 fire fighters complete accredited certification in NFPA 1001 “Standard for Professional Firefighter Qualifications” – Level II from the original 24 enrolled. Included in this accomplishment is 20 fire fighters with accredited certification NFPA 472 “Standard for Professional Competence of Responders to Hazardous Materials Incidents” – Operations Level.