By Cole Parkinson
The Municipal District of Taber Fire Services are looking to bring some more types of training in house as the department continues to grow.
During the M.D. of Taber’s regular meeting on Jan. 25, M.D. of Taber Regional Fire Chief Brian Schafer and Deputy Regional Fire Chief Joe Bruyere discussed the possibility of doing their own ice water rescue training from here on out.
“We will develop our own in house training for ice water rescue. We chose mostly the members that had the instructors course so now we can all teach it in house once I finish the curriculum, which should be at the end of February,” said Bruyere.
The need to do their own training extends from the financial cost it takes to do the necessary training in different towns but with the ability to do it in the M.D., it will save quite a bit of money even with the need to purchase required equipment.
On top of the equipment they need to host the training, they also need a body of water that meets all of the requirements.
In regard to finding a suitable place to hold the training, they do have a couple of options that will work once they do indeed start.
“This will save us the expense of going out of house. When we were talking about location for water stuff, the Town of Vauxhall has agreed to give us a day for the pool with no public access or a water pond that is fenced off and meets all of the requirements that Joe discovered,” said Schafer.
With the discussed locations, Bruyere says the Vauxhall pool or pond would be preferential for the department because it gives them control over keeping people away from the risk the hole in the water presents.
“With our ice water training if we cut a hole in the ice because of course with ice water training you have to put somebody in the water. If we were to do it on a lake we would have to rent fencing, protect that fencing until it froze over to sustain people walking over it,” added Bruyere.
A bunch of equipment is needed to do this sort of training for both the rescuers and the lucky person who gets to go in.
While they do have some equipment right now, they would still need to add as they still lack some of the material.
“We have some right now in the vehicle and we’ve got some quotes that we’ll approach with Derek (Krizsan, CAO for the M.D. of Taber) about different ideas. It won’t be hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said Schafer.
M.D. administration estimated the purchase of equipment would be in the $10,000 range.
The M.D. of Taber needs six more Mustang water rescue dry suits on top of some other safety equipment.
The department currently has four suits that are suitable for the spring, fall and summer seasons but they don’t have the suits needed for winter.
Once the equipment is purchased they will separate the units for both the south and north regions in order to maximize the equipments effectiveness.
“It will be split north and south, so it will be available for MDFD to respond with it and Vauxhall so we’re not waiting for it to come all of the way from Barnwell,” said Schafer. “If it’s a water rescue by the time we get to Hays from Barnwell it’s a recovery. If it’s in Vauxhall we have a better chance of rescue than recovery.”