Midway’s Volunteer Fire Department has a new, fully portable Jaws of Life apparatus thanks partly to a generous donation by the Boundary Partnership Fund (BPF).
Fire Chief Walt Osellame and the BPF’s Danny Anderson held up the fund’s giant-sized check for $1,500 outside the department’s 8th Ave. Hall Saturday morning, Oct. 31. Assistant Chief Phil Cameron and Cpt. Dave Cote then demonstrated the jaws.
The device, which Osellame said cost around $15,000, is a game-changer for the department. Where members once relied on machines powered by cumbersome hydraulic lines, the new jaws are battery powered, meaning they can go anywhere — even under water.
The device is heavy and cumbersome, but its versatility is perfectly suited for rescues in rugged terrain. Firefighters can take the battery-powered machine down steep slopes more quickly than hydraulic jaws attached to cables that can fray on exposed rocks or trip-up firefighters.
The BPF donates Village funds to Midway non-profits, Anderson explained.
Halloween was Osellame’s last official day as chief. He will stay on as acting Chief until successor Michael Daloise takes over on Nov. 16.
Osellame will keep his educational role at the College of the Rockies, where he will stay on as Fire Services Training co-ordinator.