Firefighter training exercises were held over the weekend for members of the Saskatchewan Volunteer Firefighters Association. Estevan Fire Rescue Service hosted the event around different locations throughout the city. Instructors from across the province came to teach the brave men and women how to properly handle certain situations,with an emphasis on keeping each other safe while rescuing members of their communities. 346 firefighters came from stations across the province to participate in the event.
Estevan Comprehensive School hosted theory classes, while the fire station was used for a multitude of training exercises. There were obstacle courses that needed the firefighters to use multiple skills to navigate through. One in particular had one firefighter in a confined space trying to drag and then lift a downed firefighter up to another firefighter that is outside a window on a ladder. Many of the exercises relied on the crews to learn to conserve their air supplies while also doing the strenuous and stressful work.
Two areas of training highlighted the struggles the men and women go through in farming and ranching areas. There was a course on how to handle different types of livestock and how to protect themselves around animals that can be scared and unpredictable. Training for the types of trailers and gates that they would come across involved with livestock was also provided.
A number of courses involved vehicle fires and extrication. One in particular was aimed at teaching the basic skills of extrication when the modern tools for the job are not available. Numatic and hand powered tools were used in these exercises and highlight the importance of having a plan B or even C, especially since many of these situations can come up at any time. Once this training is complete the firefighters move on to doing the same extrication processes' with their modern hydraulic equipment.
All in all it was a busy weekend for the Estevan Fire Rescue Service. Not only were they providing equipment and assistance with all the training, they still had to perform their regular duties of keeping Estevan safe in case of emergencies. Fortunately they were more than up for the task and were able to put on this great event for the Saskatchewan Volunteer Firefighters Association.