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 will save $430,000 with change to new waste contractor

Transition to take place with CanPak for Jan. 1, contract includes two bins

Crime rate slowly falling in Ponoka County

Ponoka RCMP stats show crime figures down from same nine month period in 2017

Ponoka Victim Services brings support dog to court hearing

One support dog was in Ponoka to provide support for a young victim attending court

Life of Darrell Paulovich honoured at Ponoka memorial

One of rodeo’s biggest fans was remembered during a memorial celebrating his life

PHOTOS: Volunteers add lights to Ponoka’s Centennial Park

Centennial Park in Ponoka will have a festive appearance once again thanks to volunteer supports

VIDEO: Shoppers like self-checkout lanes at the grocery store, survey suggests

Grocery Experience National Survey Report suggests most grocery shoppers spend 32 minutes per visit

Ponoka County issues stop order on un-permitted scrap metal recycler

Complaints about the business located near Morningside came to county council’s attention

No deal in sight: Canada Post warns of delivery delays into January

Union holds fifth week of rotating strikes as both sides remain apart on contract negotiations

Ponoka woman and Sylvan Lake man see assault charges withdrawn

Charges dropped in Rimbey Provincial Court, stayed against Morsette

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

Air force getting more planes but has no one to fly them, auditor warns

The report follows several years of criticism over the Trudeau government’s decision not to launch an immediate competition to replace the CF-18s.

Bolder action needed to reduce child poverty: Campaign 2000 report card

The report calls for the federal government to provide more funding to the provinces, territories and Indigenous communities to expand affordable, quality child care.

Judge bars US from enforcing Trump asylum ban

Protesters accused the migrants of being messy, ungrateful and a danger to Tijuana; complained about how the caravan forced its way into Mexico, calling it an “invasion.”

Ottawa Redblacks defensive back Jonathan Rose suspended for Grey Cup

Rose was flagged for unnecessary roughness and ejected for contacting an official with 37 seconds left in the first half following a sideline melee after a Tiger-Cats reception.

Most Read