altona / rhineland emergency services

In 1896 the Village of Altona Council initiated discussion on the need of firefighting for the village. In 1904 the RM of Rhineland granted $300.00 to the Village of Altona for the purchase of fire hose to be used on a horse drawn pump. In 1922 the Village of Altona lost 6 businesses to fire and shortly thereafter the first official fire brigade was formed with 20 members. In 1936 a major fire demonstrated the need for a new fire truck and the Village Council approved the installation of a new Viking pump onto an old Maxwell car. This continued to serve the needs of the community until 1953 when a new pumper truck was purchased.

Firefighers use their old fashioned equipment: a gas mask and ropeThe members of the fire department noticed a void in emergency services for the Altona district and in 1956, after 5 years of fundraising purchased the first ambulance for Altona. The Altona Ambulance Service owned and operated by the volunteers of the Altona Fire Department continued to serve the community until 2000 when it was turned over to the Regional Health Authority.

With the growth of the community came growth in the fire department and in 1979 after an intense fund raising campaign, the members of the department purchased the first “Jaws of Life” in the area. This was followed by an expansion and renovation of the fire hall in 1980. With rural ponds being closed the need for a water tanker was addressed and in 1997 the fire hall was expanded once again to accommodate a 2500-gallon tank truck. The department continued to grow in training and equipment to better serve the community and this led to a shortage of equipment carrying capacity. In 1998 the members of the department once again embarked on a fund raising campaign and the community responded with donations totalling $27,000.00. The first rescue truck for the Altona/Rhineland Emergency Services
was purchased.

Today the department consists of 25 volunteer members and a ½ time paid Fire Chief. The members are fully trained in NFPA Level 1 firefighting, hazardous materials awareness, farm accident rescue, motor vehicle extrication, high angle & confined space rescue, water rescue and emergency vehicle driving skills.

The members of the Altona/Rhineland Emergency Services are also active in public fire prevention and life safety education and fire extinguisher courses. Our fire fighters are also active in fund raising for Muscular Dystrophy and the Fire Fighters Burn fund, the adopted charities of the national fire service.