"I can think of no more stirring symbol of man's humanity to man than a fire engine."
- Kurt Vonnegut
Emergencies Call: 911
Abe Toews had owned the local garage at that time and, with a lack of funds and without municipal support, rigged a ¾ ton pickup to become a firetruck. After that, a tanker truck was also rigged to service the call for local fires.
The entire organization was supported, physically and financially, by the men and wives on the department. Fund raisers, turkey suppers, dances… anything they could think of (legally!) to keep the local department running. Eventually the municipality and RM came on board.
Today, the Gretna Fire Department consists of twelve trained, dedicated men who, at a moment’s notice, drop whatever they are doing whether work, play or sleep to answer the call of their emergency pager. Regardless of the call (fight fires, attend motor vehicle accidents or just false alarms), they respond.
While the Town of Gretna and the RM of Rhineland subsidize the department's building & equipment and local company Enbridge helps subsidize additional equipment as well as training courses, it must be noted that these men volunteer their time. They don’t do it for money or glory. They do it because they have the desire and ability to serve their community and by doing that they make Gretna a safer place to live.
Established in 1965, the Gretna Volunteer Fire Department has carried a tradition of protecting Gretna and area citizens.
Formed by local residents Abe Toews, Bert Dyck, Menno Hruda, Billy Johnson and Abe Peters they had about 10 dedicated volunteers forming the department.