A number of emergency response agencies combined their knowledge and resources to put on a day-long seminar for fire fighters and first responders from around southeast Saskatchewan at Midale on Saturday.
Hosted and organized by SaskEnergy, the group of presenters included STARS, the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency’s Rapid Response Team, and the Saskatchewan Volunteer Fire Fighters Association, which provided information on their critical incident stress management resources.
The training session was held at the Harry O. Memorial Arena and Civic Centre in Midale, with 66 emergency responders on hand from 23 Fire Departments from throughout the southeast region.
Presenters from SaskEnergy touched on natural gas safety awareness, such as the use of the odourant, Mercapten, and some of the safety procedures fire fighters should use when responding to a call about a gas leak.
STARS had a representative on hand to talk about the safety procedures for setting up a landing zone at the scene of an emergency, such as a traumatic motor vehicle accident. He also spoke about a new helicopter model which has begun flying out of Saskatoon, and will be brought to the Regina station in about a year’s time.
The Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency had two representatives on hand to talk about the rapid response team based out of Prince Albert, and the resources and capabilities they have to respond to any traumatic incident to help out local Fire Departments, police and First Responders.
Many volunteer emergency responders are unaware of the rapid response team and their resources, and what sort of incidents they might respond to.
The Volunteer Fire Fighters Association has resources available for emergency responders who are finding it tough to deal with the aftermath of traumatic events and emergencies, like fires, fatal MVAs or even the cumulative effects of responding to emergency calls. There are almost 300 volunteer fire departments around the province, with around 7,000 volunteer fire fighters in addition to the roughly 1,000 paid career fire fighters in Saskatchewan.