H.O.T.S.

(Big Rig Hands On Training Sypossium)

Firefighters from all over western Canada recieve instruction about extrication of victims involved in accidents involving big rigs in a Leduc training facility.

On September 22 and 23, 2011, approximately 80 firefighters from across Western Canada, came to Nisku to study and train at the Leduc County’s Regional Firefighter and Rescue Training Facility.  They wanted to learn how to respond to big rig rescue situations by learning new techniques and using new tools and technologies to improve their rescue skills.  Many of these firefighters are volunteers.
 The training symposium was hosted by Leduc County in partnership with Alberta Vehicle Extrication Association (AVEA).  They are proud members of Transportation Emergency Rescue Committee Canada (TERC) who is committed to contributing to the reduction of injury and deaths of Canadians involved in transportation emergencies.
 The training site was composed of  four different accidents or pits. The first accident was called a “rollover”.  In this accident, a cement truck had rolled over onto a car.  The second accident was called an “under-run”.  In this situation a transport truck goes off the road and the cab hits the dirt, causing the load to go over the top.  The third accident was another “rollover” with a car and a tanker.  The fourth accident was called the “evolution pit” where trainees learn about the components of a truck and how to rescue people from them.  In each of these different types of accidents, the firefighters learned how to use struts, timbers and other types of equipment to stabilize the vehicles. 
 Darrel Fleming, Deputy Fire Chief of Leduc County, was Coordinator for the Symposium.   He indicated that these different types of accidents are becoming too common, because of the increase in the volume of traffic over the years.  For example, there are 82,000 cars traveling between Edmonton and the Airport daily.  Deerfoot Trail in Calgary and the 401 Highway in Ontario, are other examples where there are high volumes of transportation vehicles on the highways.  The firefighters indicated they were glad to be receiving this high level of training, as they will feel more confident to respond to emergency big rig accidents.  

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