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Bring It Home: Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village seeks community support to preserve Pincher Creek’s firefighting heritage

Bring It Home: Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village seeks community support to preserve Pincher Creek’s firefighting heritage
Support Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village’s project to showcase Pincher Creek firefighting history and preserve a piece of local heritage.
Support Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village’s project to showcase Pincher Creek firefighting history and preserve a piece of local heritage.
IMAGE: Lynn Roberts
IMAGE: Lynn Roberts

Bring It Home: Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village seeks community support to preserve Pincher Creek’s firefighting heritage

By Somya Lohia
By Somya Lohia
Shootin’ the Breeze Reporter
Shootin’ the Breeze Shootin’ the Breeze Reporter
June 13, 2024
June 13, 2024

Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village is seeking support from the community to fund its new project, Bring It Home. This project will repurpose an existing building to house a new fire hall, showcasing the region’s rich history of firefighting and emergency services. The journey began in October 2022 when Dylan Yanke, a firefighter from Pincher Creek, stumbled upon a significant piece of local history — a Dodge D600 fire truck for sale near Sundre. Originally purchased by the Pincher Creek fire department in 1967, it had served both the Pincher Creek and Cowley fire departments before being retired and sold multiple times over the years.

Recognizing its historical significance, Yanke decided that the truck had to return to its original home. He contacted fellow firefighter Will Thorpe, and soon after, senior firefighter Lynn Roberts joined the effort. Together, they purchased it in January 2023.

“I have always wanted to get an older truck,” shares Roberts, a seasoned firefighter with 30 years of service in Olds and Pincher Creek. “When we found this truck, which is an original Pincher Creek fire truck, my partners and I felt it was important to return this classic piece of equipment to its home,” he tells Shootin’ the Breeze. Reflecting on the truck’s historical features, Roberts describes its versatile capabilities: “The front-mount pump is quite significant. You could suck out of a dugout with it, or hook up to a hydrant and flow water.”

After the truck’s restoration, the trio approached KBPV, offering to donate it. The Pincher Creek and District Historical Society, which oversees the museum, saw this as an opportunity to provide a comprehensive exhibit highlighting the evolution of firefighting in the area, so that it could be seen and appreciated by others. For this, the society has proposed building Fire Hall No. 1. This will display the fire truck as the centrepiece, as well as a range of other firefighting artifacts.

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The Dodge pumper will join a 1900s-era original horse-drawn ladder truck and hose reel, and other uniforms, tools, and artifacts to tell the story of emergency services and the history of firefighting in Pincher Creek, says Gord Tolton, education co-ordinator at KBPV. “Fire has played a significant role in shaping the history of Pincher Creek, with numerous landmark fires affecting the community over the years,” Tolton says. “From the early days of volunteer firefighters responding to calls with horse-drawn equipment, to the modern full-time fire service, the exhibit will trace the evolution of firefighting techniques and technologies.” 

The exhibit will also highlight the dedicated individuals who have served as fire chiefs and firefighters, many of whom were volunteers, he adds.

The project is set to be a focal point for community engagement and education.

 

Also read | Wildfire safety procedures from AltaLink

 

“The goal is to create an immersive and educational experience that brings to life the history of firefighting in Pincher Creek,” Tolton says.

To make Fire Hall No. 1 a reality, the historical society has already begun fundraising efforts. It has planned several events and opportunities for people to participate and support the Bring It Home project.

The fundraising kicks off with a major event planned for Father’s Day on June 16. Fire Drill will feature EMS-inspired relay races open to all members of the community.

In this event, teams of five have been invited to a timed relay race based on activities that a firefighter may have to perform during an emergency. It will include a bucket brigade, a target to knock over with water from a pressurized hose and other challenges. 

The entry fee for a team is $50. Participants are divided into two categories: youth (10 to 15 years old) and adults (16 and older).

“Anyone can enter a team. The funds raised will go towards the development of Fire Hall No. 1 and the exhibit,” Tolton emphasizes.

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In addition to the Father’s Day event, the historical society is hosting an outdoor concert at the KBPV on Aug. 10. Award-winning country music entertainer Trevor Panczak will headline the show.

The aim of the concert is to generate additional funding for the proposed structure, and the society invites the community to support it in several ways. Purchasing a $35 ticket to attend the concert is one way to do this.

Additionally, the society is seeking sponsorships from businesses.

“We are asking for a $250 donation to assist us with covering all expenses associated with the concert. You will be issued a tax receipt and two tickets to the concert in appreciation of your donation,” the society states on its website.

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Individuals can also contribute by purchasing a brick for $250. The brick will be inscribed with the purchaser’s name and placed permanently in Fire Hall No. 1.

People can also buy 50-50 tickets for $5 each.

“This draw will run until December. Interested persons can buy tickets at the events or the museum,” the society says.

Bring It Home represents a significant step forward in preserving and interpreting the history of Pincher Creek. By creating this dedicated exhibit, Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village is ensuring that future generations will have the opportunity to learn about and appreciate the vital role that firefighting and emergency services have played in the community.

This project not only preserves the past but also keeps Pincher Creek’s history relevant and engaging. As the fire hall exhibit takes shape, it promises to be a testament to the community’s resilience and a celebration of the men and women who have dedicated their lives to protecting it.

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Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village is seeking support from the community to fund its new project, Bring It Home. This project will repurpose an existing building to house a new fire hall, showcasing the region’s rich history of firefighting and emergency services. The journey began in October 2022 when Dylan Yanke, a firefighter from Pincher Creek, stumbled upon a significant piece of local history — a Dodge D600 fire truck for sale near Sundre. Originally purchased by the Pincher Creek fire department in 1967, it had served both the Pincher Creek and Cowley fire departments before being retired and sold multiple times over the years.

Recognizing its historical significance, Yanke decided that the truck had to return to its original home. He contacted fellow firefighter Will Thorpe, and soon after, senior firefighter Lynn Roberts joined the effort. Together, they purchased it in January 2023.

“I have always wanted to get an older truck,” shares Roberts, a seasoned firefighter with 30 years of service in Olds and Pincher Creek. “When we found this truck, which is an original Pincher Creek fire truck, my partners and I felt it was important to return this classic piece of equipment to its home,” he tells Shootin’ the Breeze. Reflecting on the truck’s historical features, Roberts describes its versatile capabilities: “The front-mount pump is quite significant. You could suck out of a dugout with it, or hook up to a hydrant and flow water.”

After the truck’s restoration, the trio approached KBPV, offering to donate it. The Pincher Creek and District Historical Society, which oversees the museum, saw this as an opportunity to provide a comprehensive exhibit highlighting the evolution of firefighting in the area, so that it could be seen and appreciated by others. For this, the society has proposed building Fire Hall No. 1. This will display the fire truck as the centrepiece, as well as a range of other firefighting artifacts.

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The Dodge pumper will join a 1900s-era original horse-drawn ladder truck and hose reel, and other uniforms, tools, and artifacts to tell the story of emergency services and the history of firefighting in Pincher Creek, says Gord Tolton, education co-ordinator at KBPV. “Fire has played a significant role in shaping the history of Pincher Creek, with numerous landmark fires affecting the community over the years,” Tolton says. “From the early days of volunteer firefighters responding to calls with horse-drawn equipment, to the modern full-time fire service, the exhibit will trace the evolution of firefighting techniques and technologies.” 

The exhibit will also highlight the dedicated individuals who have served as fire chiefs and firefighters, many of whom were volunteers, he adds.

The project is set to be a focal point for community engagement and education.

 

Also read | Wildfire safety procedures from AltaLink

 

“The goal is to create an immersive and educational experience that brings to life the history of firefighting in Pincher Creek,” Tolton says.

To make Fire Hall No. 1 a reality, the historical society has already begun fundraising efforts. It has planned several events and opportunities for people to participate and support the Bring It Home project.

The fundraising kicks off with a major event planned for Father’s Day on June 16. Fire Drill will feature EMS-inspired relay races open to all members of the community.

In this event, teams of five have been invited to a timed relay race based on activities that a firefighter may have to perform during an emergency. It will include a bucket brigade, a target to knock over with water from a pressurized hose and other challenges. 

The entry fee for a team is $50. Participants are divided into two categories: youth (10 to 15 years old) and adults (16 and older).

“Anyone can enter a team. The funds raised will go towards the development of Fire Hall No. 1 and the exhibit,” Tolton emphasizes.

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In addition to the Father’s Day event, the historical society is hosting an outdoor concert at the KBPV on Aug. 10. Award-winning country music entertainer Trevor Panczak will headline the show.

The aim of the concert is to generate additional funding for the proposed structure, and the society invites the community to support it in several ways. Purchasing a $35 ticket to attend the concert is one way to do this.

Additionally, the society is seeking sponsorships from businesses.

“We are asking for a $250 donation to assist us with covering all expenses associated with the concert. You will be issued a tax receipt and two tickets to the concert in appreciation of your donation,” the society states on its website.

Individuals can also contribute by purchasing a brick for $250. The brick will be inscribed with the purchaser’s name and placed permanently in Fire Hall No. 1.

People can also buy 50-50 tickets for $5 each.

“This draw will run until December. Interested persons can buy tickets at the events or the museum,” the society says.

Bring It Home represents a significant step forward in preserving and interpreting the history of Pincher Creek. By creating this dedicated exhibit, Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village is ensuring that future generations will have the opportunity to learn about and appreciate the vital role that firefighting and emergency services have played in the community.

This project not only preserves the past but also keeps Pincher Creek’s history relevant and engaging. As the fire hall exhibit takes shape, it promises to be a testament to the community’s resilience and a celebration of the men and women who have dedicated their lives to protecting it.

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