Preparing for the worst

Ian Murdoch
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Straits and St. Anthony firefighters take part in intensive hazmat training

Eight firefighters and two provincial FES trainers took part in one of the hazmat training sessions held in St. Anthony. In back (L-R):  Instructor, Tim Noble, of the Grand Falls-Windsor Fire Department, Bradley Poole of the Straits Fire Department (SFD), Chris Patey, of the St. Anthony Fire Department (SAFD), Rennie Diamond (SFD), Danny Rose (SFD), Kirk Elliott (SAFD), Chief Hank Diamond (SFD), and Instructor FPO Linus Tremblett of the Fire Emergency Services. Front in Class A suits: Captain Jamie Hughes (SFD) and Deputy Chief Kirby Hughes (SFD).

The Northern Peninsula and Southern and Coastal Labrador will soon be prepared for critical emergencies involving hazardous materials.

Voluntary firefighters from the Straits Fire Department and the St. Anthony Fire Department are taking part in a 15-session “Hazardous Material Technicians Level” course, put on by the provincial Fire and Emergency Services (FES).

Eight voluntary firefighters gathered April 21 at the St. Anthony Fire Department to take part in the training.

The firefighters being trained will become first responders to residents of the Northern Peninsula, from St. Anthony to Cow Head, as well as the South Coast of Labrador up to Cartwright.

One of the province’s nine Hazmat trailers is located at the St. Anthony Fire Department, which provided hands-on training outside of the class room, giving firefighter the opportunity to wear hazmat suites and take part in mock drills involving hazardous material first response situations.

Hank Diamond, Fire Chief for the Straits Fire Department, told the Pen that this will be a huge improvement for their firefighters and emergency first response in the region.

“This is a very intense course and not a lot of people are willing to dedicate 15 days to get trained to this level,” said Mr. Diamond.

“Plus, once you are trained, you will be expected to respond to all of the (regional) area. This is the reason why these eight firefighters should be recognized throughout this region for their dedication.”

The FES program has been put on throughout the province since 2005 in order to establish a two-hour time limit for first response times.

The training in St. Anthony will run until June and includes a one-day training session on hazmat awareness, a five-day training session on operations, and a 10-day training session on technical aspects. The class is now into the technical aspects sessions.

Firefighters will be accredited with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Code 472:  Standard for Competence of Responders to Hazardous Materials/Weapons of Mass Destruction Incidents.

Organizations: St. Anthony Fire Department, Fire and Emergency Services, Straits Fire Department South Coast National Fire Protection Association Hazardous Materials/Weapons

Geographic location: St. Anthony, Cow Head, Labrador

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Recent comments

  • Rob Pealing
    April 30, 2012 - 21:52

    I think this is fantastic and all the firefighter in the Northern Peninsula are to be congratulated on the massive improvements to their skills that they have made ove the last 5 years.