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Volunteer Firefighters amazing! - Posted: Mon, Mar 12, 2018, 07:31 pm
At a recent Intermunicipal Collaboration Committee meeting between some Councillors from the Town of Didsbury and Mountain View County, Didsbury Fire Department Chief, Craig Martin, provided a report.

Didsbury firefighters out on a call. February 2018.Call volumes increased 16% from 180 in 2016 to 209 in 2017. In 2017, the department resopnded to calls every 1.74 days. So far in 2018, our Fire Department have responded to 31 calls!

Those calls included 7 structure fires including one in a living room/chimney, chicken barn, kitchen fire, and quonset, along with a false alarm.

There were 8 Alarm Calls and one Electrical Hazard. The Department also had to respond to a Gas Leak report and five medical calls.

February 8th was a big day as Didsbury Fire received five calls simultaneously!
* 18 vehicle pile up on Hwy 2
* 3 separate MVC calls north of Didsbury Overpass in which Olds Fire responded for us
* 1 jack knifed semi on Wesctott in which Carstairs responded for us

It was the teamwork of all 3 fire departments working together with RCMP, AHS, Municipal Enforcement and Red Deer Dispatch which enabled us to shut down the Hwy and assess every vehicle and patient. Everyone went home safe!

There was also the incident of a small aircraft hitting the power lines at Hwy 2A at the Didsbury/Olds Airport causing a large power outage.

In 2018 we have a new Senior Officer core: Training Officer, Fire Prevention, and Safety Officer. Our team has Didsbury currently has 10 ACP registered EMRs.

Training continues:
* First Aid and CPR certs have been completed
* Drivers S601 course completed
* 3 Members are currently in Tactical Ventilation Course.
* New AHS Stryker Pro Stretcher training completed
* H2S training completed

More exciting news! At the end of April , Alberta Health Services will be switching all ambulances to the Stryker Pro Stretcher. These Stretches are powered electrically and can lift up to 700 pounds. The cost per stretcher is $30,000. A new mandate has been written that once the patient is on the stretcher only AHS employees are allowed to control stretcher.

There has been great success with our ATCO Cadet Program. 2017 ATCO fire cadets have stayed on with the Didsbury Fire Department after graduation and are responding active members. This year's fire cadets will be starting early spring. Cadets learn about what it takes to be a firefighter, through teaching life-skills like leadership, community involvement, teamwork, pride and respect. Didsbury Fire has been asked to participate with Calgary Fire and Lacombe Fire in the first ever ATCO Cadet Camp in 2018.

Firefighting is a highly trained discipline and is of utmost importance to citizens. Didsburians are very fortunate to have an active and able group, so valuable to our communities.

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