News Flash


Posted on: May 9, 2023

Hay River assisting High Level with fire coverage

Hay River Firefighters 03

The Town of High Level is receiving fire coverage assistance with three firefighters who have arrived from Hay River.

Captain Terence Fischer, Captain Ralph Sanguer, and Firefighter Morgan Monkman are members of the Hay River Fire Department and arrived in High Level from the Northwest Territories on Sunday, May 7.

They are in the community in a support role while members of the High Level Fire Department are providing mutual aid to our neighbours fighting fires in Fox Lake and near Rainbow Lake. The Hay River volunteers have already been out to assist with two brush fires east of High Level toward Fort Vermilion as of Monday afternoon, May 8.

Firefighter Morgan Monkman said the volunteers were more than willing to answer the call when a request came from Director of Emergency Services and Fire Chief Rodney Schmidt.

“We’re all from the north,” Monkman said. “We understand what it’s like to come together with small communities and give a helping hand.”

He noted there are many similarities between the fire departments and communities of Hay River and High Level.

“We’re both volunteer departments,” he said. “It takes a lot of the community volunteering their time and helping. And High Level and Hay River are only two hours away from each other, so I feel like (the two communities) are very similar in terms of their surrounding communities and Indigenous populations.”

“It really takes the community to come together, whether that’s the firefighters, or people within the community providing food, water, and places for people to stay in the event they are evacuated from their homes,” he added. “Our smaller communities really come together and just help each other out.”

Deputy Chief Scott Smith said the High Level Fire Department was grateful for the help, and its members are proud to be able to call on other communities knowing those calls will be answered with assistance. These relationships are one of the most important aspects of firefighting in isolated northern communities.

“The incredible relationships we have around here mean more to us than most other things,” he said. “We’re so far apart and it takes time to get resources here when needed, so being able to make a call and have some experienced guys come down and hang out with us and give us a hand – that’s just huge.”

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