Fire Chief Dan Derby and Senior Vice President of Retriev Technologies Kathy Bruce show off a few of the 25 flashlights Retriev donated to Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue Service last week. (Photo submitted)

Trail company’s donation lights the way for improved firefighters’ safety

Valued at upwards of $6,500, the 25 high-powered LED flashlights will assist firefighters on the job

“Forward-thinking strategies for a renewable future” sums up Retriev Technologies, a Trail-based battery recycling company that’s been in operation for 25 years.

Retriev put those words into motion last week by donating 25 specialized Streamlight Survivor re-chargeable flashlights to Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue.

Valued at upwards of $6,500, the high-powered LED flashlights will assist firefighters on the job while forgoing the need for the service to buy disposable batteries.

The 25 specialized rechargeable flashlights were delivered complete with chargers and will be installed in firetrucks in Rossland, Warfield, Genelle, Montrose and Fruitvale.

Trail firefighters have already been using the flashlights as part of a pilot program and will now adopt the technology permanently.

“Firefighter safety trumps all else in our work and having extremely bright, reliable flashlights for us to see through dark, smoky air is second only in importance to our personal protective equipment,” said Fire Chief Dan Derby.

“Retriev has shown generosity and foresight in donating a great tool like this to our crews. These are by far the best flashlights we’ve had and because they’re rechargeable, we can dramatically reduce our use of disposable batteries and save thousands of dollars in our service budget.”

The flashlights will last from four to 13 hours depending upon brightness settings and they have a low-profile bezel (grooved ring that holds the plastic cover into place) that doesn’t interfere with firefighter gear and equipment.

The high-intensity beam is powerful enough to pierce through smoke and the flashlights are specially designed for firefighters to use in high hazard locations.

“Our donation to local firefighters and to the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary is a really great fit with Retriev Technology’s core business,” said Kathy Bruce, Retriev’s senior vice president.

“We focus on battery recycling and reuse and we support environmental best practices as well as the health and safety of our clients and the communities we work in,” she said.

”We all benefit from the dedication and skills of these firefighters and anything we can do to make their jobs safer, we’re going to do.”

As a fire service and a regional district, Director Linda Worley says the goal is to be as economically and environmentally sustainable as possible, so using rechargeable batteries is a great improvement.

“On behalf of the East End Services Committee, I would like to thank Retriev Technologies for their generosity and support of our regional fire service,” said Worley, chair of the East End Services Committee.

“Knowing that our firefighters have the best equipment possible to light their way is very reassuring.”

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) serves more than 31,000 residents in eight incorporated municipalities and five unincorporated electoral areas.

The RDKB stretches across 8,200 square kilometres from Champion Lakes in the east all the way to Big White in the west. Regional services include recreation and culture, planning, building inspection, environmental programs, economic development and public safety services for fire and other emergencies.

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