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

Ponoka council challenged on payments on new building

Resident continues worries the town is paying over $94,000 per month on something it may never own

Plan to pump into Gull Lake won’t happen in 2019

Two-stage filter process to be evaluated by Alberta Environment

Remember When: A photo of the 1903 Ponoka Presbyterian Church

The building would late become the sight of the Ponoka United Church

Ponoka County denies rezoning over road responsibility issue

Application to parcel off land shot down by council due mainly to lack of access

Ponoka County council pleased with fire services budget

2019 budget presented to council include some higher operational costs

UK lawmakers reject Brexit deal in 432-202 vote

House of Commons votes against the deal struck between Britain’s government and the EU

Liberal candidate steps aside after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Alberta doctor accused of sexual assault asked to voluntarily give up practice

College says Dr. Barry Wollach should discontinue his practice, given the seriousness of the allegation against him

May government faces no-confidence vote after Brexit defeat

British Prime Minister Theresa May said she would stay put in her leadership role

Red Deerians can weigh in on proposed Bighorn Country investment tonight

Telephone town hall takes place 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Defending champions Team Scheidegger will fight to keep title

Stettler hosting 2019 Alberta Scotties provincial women’s bonspiel

WATCH: World-renowned illusionist, magician, escapist performs in Stettler

Matt Johnson performs two sold-out shows at Stettler Performing Arts Centre

Reflections: Looking back a brave Ponoka soldier

Private Frederick Keith Miller is recognized in this week’s Ponoka News history column

Olivia and Liam top list for Alberta baby names in 2018

Premier Rachel Notley announced the top baby names in Alberta in 2018; Loki didn’t make the cut

Most Read