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

Wolf Creek Schools raises Treaty 6 flag for first time

Chiefs, school officials took part in a ceremony that is aimed at acknowledging Treaty 6 land

Pair arrested in Ponoka with several weapons, face 98 charges

Two men nabbed after early morning suspicious vehicle reported, stolen weapons found

UPDATE: 18-year-old Rimbey teen dies in collision

A portion of Highway 53 west of Rimbey is down to one lane while crews investigate

Ponoka County approves $70,000 to dredge Parkland Beach

Parkland Beach to see some dredging support from Ponoka County

Ponoka sets bylaw on cannabis retail, pushes for quick public consumption regulation

Town passes first reading on retail outlet bylaw, questions staff on need to separate public usage

Video: Flyers new mascot ‘Gritty’ a bearded, googly-eyed terror

The Philadelphia Flyers unveiled their new mascot Monday, and as one would expect of the team that gave us the “Broad Street Bullies,” he’s far from cuddly.

Edmonton cannabis company revenues more than triples to $19.1 million

Aurora Cannabis revenues more than triple in fourth quarter

Seattle one step closer to NHL after arena plan approved

Seattle City Council unanimously approved plans for a privately funded $700 million renovation of KeyArena

Hockey league gets $1.4M for assistance program after Humboldt Broncos crash

Program will help players, families, coaches and volunteers after the shock of the deadly crash

Canada has removed six out of 900 asylum seekers already facing U.S. deportation

Ottawa had said the ‘overwhelming majority’ had been removed

Appeal pipeline decision but consult Indigenous communities, Scheer says

The federal appeals court halted the Trans Mountain expansion last month

‘I’ll never forgive you:’ Victim impact statements at hearing for Calgary killer

Curtis Healy was found guilty of first-degree murder Friday in the death of Dawns Baptiste.

Man accused of mailing bomb to his brother in B.C. has died

Leon Nepper was found in ‘medical distress’ at the Whitehorse Correctional Centre on Sunday

Most Read