Kamloops Fire Rescue shows off Heavy Rescue Program

By Adam Donnelly
November 8, 2016 - 4:28pm Updated: November 8, 2016 - 6:40pm

KAMLOOPS — When Kamloops Fire Rescue looked at what kind of incident posed potential risks to the city and it’s inhabitants, the possibility of a serious accident on one of the many highways in and around Kamloops was number one on that list. KFR used that assessment as a catalyst to improve their ability to respond such an incident - and in doing so, has created a unique partnership with a family run business in the city.

It doesn’t really matter how old you are; big trucks and power tools can be awesome, especially when you see them in action.

This morning, Kamloops Fire Rescue held a Heavy Equipment Demonstration. The event was designed to share knowledge and specific techniques KFR uses when there’s a crash involving one of the many heavy transport vehicles we see on the highways around the city.

“We’ve developed what we call a ‘Heavy Rescue Program, which is designed to mitigate that exact type of emergency,” KFR Chief Training Officer Neil Campbell explained. “What we found out when we started our research and program development, was that no one else in British Columbia was doing this kind of a program.”

The information session, and demonstration, held at the KFR Training yard, attracted members of several different agencies from across the province. They were interested in learning more about the Heavy Rescue Program.

“we have… seven different fire departments from surrounding areas, as far away as Pentiction, that have come to take in this demonstration and take home some knowledge to their fire departments,” Campbell added.

One of the unique aspects of the program is the partnership KFR has formed with Mario’s Towing. Mario’s often trains alongside Kamloops Fire Rescue’s Heavy Rescue team. The two groups have complimentary skills.

“It’s more timely to hook a tow truck, a rotator, a wrecker up that same scene… come alongside the firefighters and do the heavy lifting,” explained Carlos Hinkson. Hinkson is the Business Development Manager with Mario’s Towing and said the drivers who work on the heavy duty trucks, or “wreckers” as he called them, are highly trained/

“These guys that are here today, they’re the cream of the crop,” Hinkson told CFJC Today. “The guys that are here today, there’s years of experience.”

According to Campbell, there are over 50,000 heavy transport vehicles rolling through Kamloops weigh scales every month. With that number increasing every year, the ability to deal with an incident involving these types of vehicles is becoming increasingly necessary.

“When we started to develop this program, and share it with our neighbouring communities, the heightened awareness [of the potential for this type of incident] came to the forefront,” Campbell explained. “The information they’ll be taking back to their home departments will help them be better at their next big incident.”

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