VX Training

This past weekend, Wabasca Fire Department held a vehicle extrication training session. We started the day off in the classroom, reviewing scene safety and some basic vehicle extrication techniques. We then moved onto practical training. We started with different techniques of stabilizing a vehicle. We made cribs, a chain basket, and used Rescue 42 struts.

This crib basket is not totally secure, as the slope in the trunk could cause the chain to slip.

Demonstration of the Rescue 42 struts

We then moved onto use of hand tools. We practiced breaking glass, puncturing tires, and cutting windshields out. We used a sawzall to cut apart a vehicle, showing we don’t necessarily have to use the larger, heavier tools to be able to perform an extrication.

The sawzall blade can get quite hot, spraying it with water helps cool it and any sparks down

We then got to my favourite part, using the cutters and spreaders. We worked on popping door hinges, cutting the various posts, removing roofs, pushing the dash, and removing trunk doors. Spreaders, or “The Jaws of Life”, have enough strength to pop door hinges and nader pins

Cutters are another useful tool

These are the same spreaders with different tips. We used these tips to perform a dash push, which is where the dash gets moved away from the patient to make more room to pull them out.

All in all it was a fun and educational day! Lots of folks popped in to see what we were doing.

Critical Incident Stress Management Training

A few weekends ago, Wabasca Fire Department members, an AAF member, and employees from the Pee Kis Kwe Tan “Let’s Talk” Society in Wabasca were taught Critical Incident Stress Management by Roy Langer. It was a packed two days as we learned about psychological and behavioural reactions to stressors, how to defuse from a critical incident, how to debrief from a critical incident, and the importance of the latter two. After a few practice sessions, we all passed and received our certificates! As a group, we’re all ready to help people in the community with a critical incident through a defusing or debriefing session.

Photo courtesy of Denis Carnochan

Wabasca Fire Department Recuitment

The Wabasca Fire Department is looking for new firefighters to join the team! On April 17th at 7:30 p.m. we’re asking anyone who would like to give back to their community in an exciting and fulfilling way to come down to the Bruce Rathbone Fire Hall to begin practice! Feel free to stop by any Tuesday at 7:30 to get more information. April 17th marks the beginning of a 3 month training schedule for new rookies, I hope to see you there!

Fire Season

It’s that time of year again, folks! Fire season started on March 1st. How does that affect you?

For the folks living in Alberta’s Forest Protection Area (of which all of the M.D. of Opportunity No. 17 is part of!) this means they have to apply for a fire permit for all outdoor fires (excluding campfires) until October 31st. They are free and are an important tool in keeping our communities safe. They let the wildfire detection staff know where authorized fires are planned, which means you won’t have firefighters knocking on your door, or a plane looking to drop fire retardant over your fire. It also gives the wildfire staff the ability to notify you if the risk for a wildfire is too great to have your own outdoor fire. Did you know, just about half of the wildfires started in Alberta each year are caused by humans?

Don’t forget to go check your winter burns. A fire left smouldering can burn under the snow all winter and reemerge when it melts, starting a wildfire. Alberta Agriculture and Forestry recommends you use a metal rod to probe the ash pile, and if it’s hot to the touch, the fire is still burning. To extinguish it soak the pile with water and stir it up. Keep doing this until the ash is cool to the touch.

You can contact the local Alberta Agriculture and Forestry Office at 780-891-3860 to obtain your free fire permit today.

“Remember, if you’re found responsible for starting a wildfire, or if you burn without a permit, you may be charged under the Forest and Prairie Protection Act!

9 calendar top pages (image-side)

These are the images for the pages that will be above the date page when the calendar is open.  I chose these 9 images out of all the photos that I have because they had the following attributes:

  • They were high resolution (300 dpi)
  • They were over 1500 pixels in width
  • They were reasonably in focus
  • They were not too dull
  • They are relatively new

p01 p02 p03 p04 p05 p06 p07 p08 p09 If you don’t like these images you can suggest replacements up until the deadline to print – (end of August?) or it will be up to someone to find/shoot replacements. I have a decent point-shoot camera but I’m just an average photographer.

This concludes the design portion of the calendar work. The next step is to choose some witty/interesting/factual text to go with each photo and to produce a complete file for the whole calendar. Then get a printed prototype to bring to fire practice.