County of Grande Prairie firefighters will now be able to take action quicker when responding to calls that involve dangerous goods. Deputy Chief Trevor Grant says 22 fire service staff have gotten the training to help stop hazardous materials from harming the public and environment.
“We can now go in and shut off a valve, plug up a leak, and stop the spill or event from happening so that it will actually not get worse. If there’s an anhydrous ammonia leak we can actually go in an shut off and isolate the valve, instead of waiting for the company representatives to show up, we have the training to actually isolate that.”
Before, those services were contracted out, and fire crews could sometimes be left waiting for hours before they could respond. In addition to those that are now trained as technicians, six officers are at the command level so they can be in charge of a dangerous goods incident.
To help in their response, the County has also purchased a trailer with specialized equipment. The roughly $70,000 cost was funded over three years.