Crew members from fire departments across northwest B.C. participate in a heavy rescue training in Terrace on Wednesday, Sept. 22. (Binny Paul/Terrace Standard)

Crew members from fire departments across northwest B.C. participate in a heavy rescue training in Terrace on Wednesday, Sept. 22. (Binny Paul/Terrace Standard)

VIDEO: Northwest B.C. fire departments conduct heavy rescue training in Terrace

Firefighters from Prince Rupert, Kitimat, and Terrace took part in the training

Members of the Terrace, Prince Rupert and Kitimat fire departments are now better equipped to handle heavy rescue scenarios.

Just under 20 firefighters took part in the training over several days, practicing rescue in a variety of situations and vehicle accidents.

On Sept. 22, the three firefighters from Prince Rupert, two from Kitimat and 13 from Terrace split into groups during a scenario involving a car crushed underneath a bus and truck.

The objective was to stabilize and then lift the truck and bus off of the car incrementally so that the subject inside could be accessed.

Dave Jephson, Terrace deputy fire chief, said heavy rescue training on this scale is a first for the north, and is happening in part due to increased industrial and bus traffic in the northwest.

“This class is being supported and sponsored by LNG Canada, so they’ve stepped up and they recognize that there’s an impact to everybody in this region and us particularly on the highway,” he said.

“We’ve been working with them for four or five years now, they see the need to want to have trained, equipped departments in the area.”

The course was conducted by Dynamic Rescue Systems, a B.C. based company that supplies rescue equipment and training. Firefighters worked on realistic scenarios involving a school bus, tractor trailer, large bus, mini bus, roll-off truck, and multiple smaller vehicles.

Thanks to a mutual aid agreement between the fire departments in the northwest, Prince Rupert and Kitimat members were able to take part.

“We are so fortunate here, the blend is awesome,” Jephson said.

“On a highway, we’re going with four people, maybe five and [members] may have to do all this stuff. So that’s where it’s like, phone the next department and say, ‘can you come and help us?’”