Firefighters participate in HAZMAT training

Submitted photo. Participants in the HAZMAT training learn about the gear needed for dealing with hazardous materials and situations.

Eight firefighters from the La Ronge Regional Fire Department participated in four days of HAZMAT training March 2 to 5 at the Fire Hall in La Ronge.

The training involved two levels of learning how to handle hazardous material, said Jay Wood, who took over as Deputy Fire Chief just days before, Monday, Feb. 27.

“Like if a semi with a taker of diesel went over, just how to mitigate it and keep everybody said,” Wood said of the training.

The two levels included HAZMAT awareness and HAZMAT operator.

The awareness included how to keep everyone back from an incident, setting up safety zones,

“If there’s a big plume of ammonia or something, knowing how far back you have to stay and keep people out of the area,” Wood said.

For the HAZMAT Operator training, there more hands-on work to be done, such as mitigating the spills.

“You’ll dam if there’s diesel flowing down in the ditch. You’ll try and dam it and hold it into an area, right, so it doesn’t spread, that kind of thing.”

There is a fourth level, HAZMAT Technician.

“That’s the guys that actually go in and clean up the spill … they know all the science behind it, like if this chemical mixes with this chemical,” Wood said.

The training was completed in the Fire Hall with class learning facilitated in the Training Room and the practical elements were held in the bay, the area where equipment is housed, including vehicles.

Darren Arseneault provided the training. He is Deputy Chief of the Co- Refinery in Reginal and has his own consulting company, Darren Arseneault Consulting Inc., Wood said.

“They’ll come and instruct on stuff like this.”

Wood hails from southern Ontario. He spent several years in Melville, Sask, before coming to La Ronge.

“I moved out here to Melville, took the Fire program and I met my wife and will be married 12 years in August,” he said.

He had some experience wildfire fighting in the “last couple of years” and hearing about the lakes, bush and summertime activities and the opportunities offered by the La Ronge Regional Fire Department, the area appealed to him. It reminded him of many lakes and bush of his Ontario home.

“It’s been good so far,” he said.