Emergency intervention training attracts participants from wide area

More than 120 participants from all over the province descended on Ponoka last week for a two-day specialized training course.

This special railcar has been touring the country for years to provide hands-on training for emergency responders. The railcar contains all sorts of sample valves and mechanisms used in controlling pressure and leaks and installed in railcars carrying dangerous chemicals or oil/LNG.

More than 120 participants from all over the province descended on Ponoka last week for a two-day specialized training course aimed mainly at first responders to emergency situations, particularly those involving leaks or spills of hazardous materials in the event of an accident.

Ponoka Regional Fire Chief Dennis Jones and Director of Emergency Management said he had put in the request for this training session about two years ago when he was the training officer for the Ponoka Fire Department. He said he was pleased to see participants join the training workshops from several neighbouring municipalities, including the cities of Edmonton and Calgary. Town of Ponoka Public Works staff also took part in the training.

The training program involved both a theoretical and a hands-on component, whereby participants attended workshops to receive information about the topics to be covered and the key elements of the emergency response effort with the hands-on session following as participants were divided into groups of six or seven and were instructed how to use the actual equipment in four separate stations on a rotating basis.

Randy Mak of Dow Chemical Canada, a member of the TRANSCAER emergency response grouping, said the idea for this kind of training had emerged after the November 1979 derailment in Mississauga, ON of a train carrying explosive load which led to evacuation of more than 200,000 people.

Mak, who coordinated the Ponoka training session, added that the first TRANSCAER training was then conducted in Canada in 1980 and one year later a similar program was also introduced in the US.

TRANSCAER functions under the umbrella of the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada, with every member of the association contributing staff and equipment for the training sessions. As both of Canada’a main railway networks, CP and CN, are partner organizations collaborating with TRANSCAER, they have also been contributing both equipment and manpower to these training programs.

Mak said due to the logistical issues involved in the moving of equipment used in the training, in particular the specialized rail car created for the training purpose, they could conduct these sessions for only about eight months of the year, during which they can program up to 20 training sessions throughout the country.

The training program, while heavily designed for responders to railway incidents, also included components for interventions highway accidents involving hazardous leaks and spills.

 

Just Posted

BREAKING: Wetaskiwin hotel up in flames

Fire crews have been dealing with a fire at the historic Rose Country Inn

Reflections: The early construction of then Ponoka mental hospital

Looking at the early development of then provincial mental hospital in Ponoka

Wolf Creek Schools superintendent receives contract extension

Jayson Lovell will continue to serve as superintendent through 2024

Ponoka fire crews deal with trailer fire on the QEII

There wasn’t much left of a 53 foot trailer after it went up in flames near Ponoka

Suspects from Ponoka charged in pawn shop theft

Ponoka RCMP say the two face several charges from Stampede Pawn incident

Defiant vigil starts healing in New Zealand after massacre

Police say the gunman in the shooting that killed 50 acted alone

Alberta government announces further easing of oil production restrictions

The government said it will continue to monitor the market and its response to the increases

Trudeau condemns hateful, ‘toxic segments’ of society after New Zealand shooting

Prime Minister expressed sorrow at the many attacks in recent years

Air Canada grounds its Boeing Max 8s until at least July 1 to provide certainty

Airlines around the world have been working to redeploy their fleets since their Max 8s were grounded last week

Budget to tout Liberal economic record, provide distraction from SNC furor

This is the Liberal government’s fourth and final budget before the election

Budget 2019: Five things to watch for in the Liberals’ final fiscal blueprint

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release the Trudeau government’s final budget on Tuesday

New concussion guidelines launched for Canada’s Olympians, Paralympians

The guidelines will be in effect at this summer’s Pan American, Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru

Alphonso Davies doubtful for Canada game against French Guiana in Vancouver

Canada will be without injured captain Scott Arfield and veteran Will Johnson

Notley’s government puts priority on health care in throne speech

Lt.-Gov. Lois Mitchell kicked off the legislature session

Most Read