Regional fire chief speaks to council

Number of false alarm calls cause concern

Ponoka County West District Fire Department had a busy year in 2018 responding to 129 calls. They respond to any incident in Ponoka County that are west of the 5th meridian (range road 283) which includes the Town of Rimbey, Summer Village of Parkland Beach and the highways.

Regional Fire Chief for Ponoka County, Dennis Jones, who gave his annual report at Rimbey town council meeting last Tuesday said the calls resulted in 1,287.5 man hours.

“Unfortunately, we’re still seeing a large number of false alarms,” he said, adding of the 129 calls, 34 were false alarms.

“That’s not good,” he said. “That’s 26% of the calls that takes the firefighters away from their jobs and families.” We looking to run an awareness campaign in 2019 to encourage residents to better maintain their alarm equipment and to work with their alarm monitoring companies to look at ways to reduce false alarm calls.

Of the calls Ponoka County West responded to, 21 were car or structure fires, 25 were grass/rubbish fires and 17 were vehicle accidents.

Public service calls which include the fire department assisting the RCMP or ambulance or other agencies resulted in 28 of the calls. Over and above that, there were four calls responding to other incidents such as reported gas leaks, downed power lines, etc.

Of the 129 calls the fire department responded to 52 calls (56%) came directly from the Town of Rimbey of which 19 were false alarms and 19 were public service calls to assist RCMP, EMS and other agencies.

In June, two certified instructors attended an advanced vehicle extrication course, later offering advanced courses at both fire halls (Ponoka County West and Ponoka County East) for fire fighters.

In October, Ponoka County hosted the Ponoka Regional Emergency Management partnership semi-annual meeting followed by a live exercise based on 2017 enhanced tabletop exercise.

Also in October, both halls held successful fire prevention week events. Ponoka County West held a community movie night with fire truck tours that was well attended.

Of special note, December saw Ponoka County West District Fire Chief John Weisgerber and Deputy Chief Bonnie Grundy receive their Provincial 22 year Alberta Emergency Services bars and Ponoka County West District Captain, David Hargest receive his Povincial 12 year Alberta Emergency services medal.

Jones told council that in 2019 departments will continue to focus on providing and arranging for quality training for fire response, emergency management and changes to the Safety Codes Council Fire Investigator/Inspector certifications.

The regional fire services policy and procedure will also be reviewed and updated as required as it’s been well over three years since the establishment of the Regional Fire Services.

Just Posted

Rimbey’s Hell on Hooves a bucking good time

Bull Riders Canada’s tour stop in Rimbey was held at the Rimbey Agriplex on March 23.

Rimbey Jr/Sr High teacher nominated for award

Kolt Bell is Wolf Creek Public Schools’ nominee for the 2019 Edwin Parr Award

Supporters rally for Jason Kenney as UCP leader stops in Red Deer

Kenney promises equalization reform, stopping ‘Trudeau-Notley’ payroll hike, trade, economic mobility

UPDATED: Boys and Girls Club looking for new home in Rimbey

The organization has lost their dedicated space at the Peter Lougheed Community Centre

Rimbey RCMP ask people to watch for ‘funny money’

RCMP says local businesses have received counterfeit currency in recent transactions

Edmonton judge rules Omar Khadr’s sentence has expired

Eight-year sentence imposed in 2010 would have ended last October had Khadr remained in custody

Social media comments continue to dog ranks of United Conservative candidates

Eva Kiryakos was running in Calgary-South East in the April 16 vote

Norway opens probe into why cruise ship ventured into storm

The Viking Sky was headed for southern Norway when it had engine problems on Saturday afternoon

Apple announces its long-awaited streaming TV service

The iPhone has long been Apple’s marquee product and main money maker, but sales are starting to decline

Trudeau delivers campaign-style speech while introducing candidate Taggart

The Order of British Columbia recipient said she wants to be the people’s voice in Ottawa

15 Canadians on cruise ship that was stranded off Norway; one injured

The cruise ship was carrying 1,373 passengers and crew when it issued a mayday call on Saturday afternoon

Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengers in Norway

The Viking Sky cruise ship was carrying 1,300 passengers and crew when it experienced engine trouble

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

Attorney General William Barr said special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump of obstructing justice

Most Read