Joining Forces

By Beacon Staff

Bigfork Volunteer Ambulance’s new building isn’t quite a castle made of sand, but its shape has changed as has their goal.

Bigfork’s Ambulance and Fire are looking to re-emerge as one entity by July 1, 2009.

BVA started a capital campaign during the summer of 2007 to raise funds for a new building out by the corner of Highways 82 and 35. Bigfork Fire was looking to expand also.

“With both of us trying to raise money for similar things,” explains Tracy Norred, Adminstrator for BVA, “it puts the people of Bigfork, who’d like to support both of us, in a quandry.”

Norred says the ambulance department changed their tack a couple months into 2008.

“We decided tit would be better for our community,” says Norred, “to act as one.” So they’re working to pool their resources to respond to emergencies, and to better their ability to respond by expanding their space and increasing their ranks.

The BVA and the Fire Department already work closely together; many who work with one volunteer with the other and they share space at Nelson Hall on Highway 35. The two entities separated in May of 2006. BVA is governed by a 5-member executive committee whereas Bigfork Fire is led by Chief Chuck Harris who answers to a Board of Trustees.

Norred says expansion is necessary to meet industry standards; sleeping quarters and office space is minimal in the current site, and they need a facility big enough to meet the communities needs in the long run.

“It needs to work for my grand kids, if they volunteer,” says Norred.