Wednesday, November 26, 2014

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St. Stephen firefighters complete ice rescue training - Feb. 26, 2014


Kathy Bockus/Courier
Teams of firefighters from the St. Stephen Fire Department practise various aspects of ice water rescue during last weekend’s training course.

Kathy Bockus
St. Stephen
It has taken five years for Mother Nature to cooperate with training schedules, but members of the St. Stephen Fire Department finally had a chance last weekend to complete an ice water rescue training course.
“We finally, finally got it in,” said Fire Chief Jeff Richardson. “Every time we had it booked we lost the ice. We’ve had our equipment sitting there and not been able to use it.
“Now they can do their thing. We’ve got a good mix of young and old firefighters.”
Richardson said the fire department has one more water training course in its sights – swift-moving water bodies. He said the firefighters have already taken water rescue training and have a boat to serve that purpose. He said the water courses are necessary because of the area’s topography.
“There are so many different bodies of water here.”
Joe Richardson, a lieutenant with the St. Stephen Fire Department, was on site for the practical training at Oak Bay Saturday afternoon.
He said the course was a refresher for several of the volunteer members who have taken the training with the Calais Fire Department, but was a first time training opportunity for a lot of the newer members.
Course instructor Larry Varin, a member of the Halifax Regional Fire Department’s training division, oversaw the training, which now certifies members as ice rescue technicians. Those who work the recovery process on shore with ropes and other equipment have been certified in ice rescue operations.
The weekend training session began at the fire hall on Union Street Saturday morning with classroom work and continued with the practical applications Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.

kathy@stcroixcourier.ca