The Moose Jaw Fire Department responds to over 50 calls a year outside of city limits.

Portable pumps are key, as fire hydrants are not available in most locations.

Chief Rod Montgomery says crews were out last week training with equipment.

"It's just an opportunity to get out on the ponds or river and work on how to draft water out of those water sources," he commented. "It's important, not so much for the City of Moose Jaw, but when we go out to our RM partners and villages and resort villages that we have that ability because they don't have hydrants to supply water to those areas if we go to a farm yard. Quite often we're required to draft water from their ponds or from the lake and that water helps us in our firefighting efforts. It's just a good skill to practice."

Firefighters basically drill a hole in the ice and extract water from source.

"Water tenders from some of the private contractors in the city, they may as well support our efforts if it [water] isn't readily available," added Montgomery. "We carry a couple thousand gallons on our truck but we'll also source out private contractors as well to help support our firefighting efforts."

The Moose Jaw Fire Department serves several rural municipalities in the area including the RM of Moose Jaw, RM of Baildon, RM of Marquis, in addition to 15 Wing Moose Jaw.