SGI invests in first of its kind support for volunteer firefighters


On April 12, it was announced that SGI is investing $5.6 million to train and equip volunteer firefighters who respond to vehicle collisions on Saskatchewan roads.

The money will be used for a program that will be the first of its kind in Canada.

The program’s objectives are to fund the delivery of training courses that allow volunteer firefighters to meet minimum standards for auto extrication and purchasing tools and equipment that support that training.

“Advancements in vehicle technology have led to new materials and designs in modern automobiles,” Minister Responsible for SGI Don Morgan said in a press release.

“Volunteer firefighters are often the first to respond to collisions on highways and rural roads, and it is essential that volunteer fire departments are kept up-to-date with evolving tool developments and adaptations around new car designs.”

Saskatchewan Volunteer Firefighters Association President Doug Lapchuk welcomed the news, and said the investment would provide plenty of benefits for Saskatchewan’s nearly 300 volunteer firefighting agencies to improve their response abilities.

“This program will greatly enhance our abilities to safely and adequately respond to motor vehicle collisions involving entrapment, in far more areas of our province that currently may not have extrication services available in a timely manner,” Lapchuk said.

The Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency (SPSA) will manage and distribute the fund in consultation with SGI, the Provincial Standards Training Committee, fire service stakeholders and other Government of Saskatchewan ministries during program development.  

The SPSA will work with the Saskatchewan Volunteer Fire Fighters Association, the Saskatchewan Association of Fire Chiefs and other stakeholders to develop auto extrication training standards and establish a fair and equitable process for purchasing tools and equipment.