The Village of Irma has an impressive local department that is funded through the Irma Fire Board. The board is a partnership of the Village of Irma and the M.D. of Wainwright No. 61. Currently there are 21 volunteer Firefighters that serve around 2,000 residents and 91,000 hectares of land. Our department responds to both medical and fire events. We have Two pumper trucks, two brush trucks, a rescue unit, a water tanker, and an off road side by side to deal with any incidents in the area. Our department offers medical and fire response to our area. They are a part of our community hosting pancake breakfasts, training to schools, and anything required of the group.
Our Fire Chief
The Village of Irma has been blessed to have a great Fire Chief over the last 50 years. In 2016 Clair Prior was named the CVFSA Lifetime Achievement Award. For more information check out the link: https://cvfsa.ca/language/en/2016-cvfsa-lifetime-achievement-award/
Below is an essay for the 2016 application:
There are three main reasons why Irma’s Fire Chief Clair Prior should be considered for this prestigious award. They stem from three vital aspects of volunteer fire fighting. They are the following: service to the community, growth of the local department, and the ability to adapt to new situations.
First I believe it is appropriate to outline some information on our fire Chief Clair. Clair joined the Irma and area Fire Department in 1963 and became Fire Chief in 1967 a position he still holds today. This means he has supervised our department for 49 years. This department does not just look after the village of Irma; it also works within the M.D. of Wainwright covering 91,380 Hectares with around 2,000 residents within the response area.
Volunteering is something Clair has spent thousands of hours on for our department whether it is going to the school to teach kids about fire safety, recruit new members, practice nights, fire board meetings, building inspections, and emergency management meetings. The hours and care he has put into this community has ensured that we are safe. Clair at 78 jumps into our brush trucks, sometimes with his grandsons, who are on the department, goes and helps put out grass fires.
He also has helped the growth of our department through a variety of ways. First our department does not just respond to fires, they also respond to medical calls. In the last few months our department attended a bad accident scene with a fatality. The next day he was in the Village office telling me that he had already contacted Critical Incidence Stress and Debriefing to talk to the group about what they had experienced. When Clair began as Fire Chief they had one fire truck and we think 5 or 6 members. Through his oversight as Chief we have grown to 18 members, 2 pumper units (2005 and 2015), 2 one ton brush trucks (2013 and 2015), a tanker (1996), a rescue unit (2000), and an off road side-by-side unit (2014). He also is very good at training the younger fire fighters and mentoring them for when he is gone. He spends time with our captains to ensure they learn the proper way to do not just the exciting scenes but also the budgeting and the paper work for events. He has helped manage our department to success and a strong financial state of affairs.
Clair believes in training. This is very evident in a variety of ways. First he still holds his fire inspection certification and will ensure that places like the school and arena are up to code. He is learning more and more how to use modern technology to help ensure that the department has the ability to respond to change. He has been part of training around 140 members for our department, including family members.
Clair also worked at CFB Wainwright as a Fire Fighter from 1967-1993. He has been a coach, a council member, a parent, and a grandparent to many in our community. The passion and work that Clair has put towards this department deserves to be recognized so please help us do that.
Neil Loonen, CAO Village of Irma
We were fortunate to have dignitaries from the M.D., Village of Irma, Province of Alberta, and the CVFSA present to present the medal to Clair.