Page 14 - April 20 2015
P. 14
PAGE 14 THE ANCHOR, MONDAY, APRIL 20, 2015

Advanced extraction techniques


training for County firefighters



by Adrienne Tait those communities,” said Bahri.
The equipment has been being built
Yellowhead County firefighters took and acquired since the 2014 budget
part in advanced extraction techniques year with a concentration on
training last week on new specialized purchasing vehicles and equipment
equipment. that was multifunctional rather than
Firefighters from all across the specialized individual pieces
The county has designed and ordered
county had the option of choosing custom built skid packages that can be
which day, Monday through Thursday, dropped on location which frees up the
worked with their schedules to come vehicle to pick up additional skids or
and learn advanced rescue skills. transport fire fighters. One of the
Firefighters were given various rescue skids is a fuel skid that can bring fuel
scenarios in which they had practice out to the scene so trucks don't have to
the best way to extract victims from leave to refuel.
vehicles as well as training in how to The incident support skid is set up to
secure the scene and keep other rescue refill air cylinders as well as provide a
personnel safe. bathroom and kitchen area to look
Included in the training was practice after the wellbeing of the fire fighters.
using the new Hurst heavy extraction “We can be on scene for 12, 15, 16
hours. No bathroom, no food, and 35
equipment, Paratech stabilization strut above or 35 below…. After that many
equipment, Paratech Maxiforce heavy hours working in that kind of
lifting air bags, new cutting and prying environment they are pretty much
tools, and deploying new squads and done. With that trailer we can recycle
heavy rescue skid response units. them, keep them working longer, and
Bruce Dreany, the instructor for the look after their health,” said Chegwyn.
course, is the technical rescue Despite the enormous amount of
coordinator for Edmonton and brought training and best efforts of the County firefighters look on as members practice various extraction
department nothing can totally prepare
a large amount of knowledge to the the firefighters for what they may techniques with tools ranging from hack saws to the jaws of life.
course. encounter on scene. “This is my 33 Photo Adrienne Tait
The training yard was filled with year in the fire service. I'm a fully
vehicles ranging from small cars to certified paramedic, firefighter, and Join us at St. Catherine’s Anglican Church
tank trucks in various states of instructor in emergency management. Friday, April 24 at 7 p.m.
wreckage and a variety of tools ranging I've never had one call that was the
from the new heavy cutting tools and same as another. They are all
lifting bags that can lift up to 80 tonnes different,” said Bahri.
to a common hack saw. The county plans to continue
Sometimes the best or quickest way offering the training twice each year,
once in the spring and once in the fall.
to get into a vehicle is by using simple “Fire fighters from Hinton are invited,
equipment. “Sometimes it is sheer will fire fighters from Edson are invited, if
and determination that gets people they want to come out and participate.
out,” said Chegwyn. They invite us to their courses as
The new air struts will allow the fire well,” said Albert.
department to pick a vehicle up in the Over the past few years there has
air and the strut hold it there. “Each been a paradigm shift from each
strut will hold a minimum of station being its own department to a
county fire department with individual
20,000lbs. When you add the four to stations. The shift allows for
one safety feature in that you're up in centralized training as well as free
that 80-100,000 pounds you can hold movement and transfer of equipment
in the air,” said Albert Bahri which means that no department
Yellowhead County's protective should be without critical equipment
services director. as they wait for something to get
The new equipment was something fixed.
that the county had identified a need “Our stations are pretty tight groups
for in the past. “You should never lift and they work really well together.
anything unless you can stabilize it as This is the next step which is even
better it has made the department as a
you lift it,” said fire chief Cory whole a lot tighter,” said Chegwyn,
Chegwyn, “If you lift it and it falls “There's not 'your station' and 'my
over on the person what have you station' it's just 'we're all here doing
done? the same job.' In a larger municipality
The county fire department covers those response area lines can become
from the east side of Entwistle to the like walls but that's not it at all now.
Jasper Park gates and the new Our Wildwood has a really good brush
equipment will enhance that coverage. unit for wild land calls. They will
“If you look at highway 16 alone we drive to Brule and don't bat an eye
about it. If they get a call and their
had call for this on many occasions pager says to go to Brule they go to
when we didn't have it. And then when Brule…. It has happened really
you look at all the periphery highways naturally just through bringing
off of it, highway 22, highway 32, everybody together for courses.”
highway 40, highway 47, we need this With the new program the Edson
heavy equipment that we didn't have. station is staffed from Monday
We didn't have it in the county. Hinton through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and
has some of this equipment and the are mandated to be out the door in 90
town of Edson has but we needed to seconds.
enhance to protect the areas outside of




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