Home » Training is a Priority for All Levels of Skill at the Martensville Fire Department

Training is a Priority for All Levels of Skill at the Martensville Fire Department

by Shanine Sealey

The Martensville Fire Department (MFD) brought in seven new recruits in January of this year, and since then, the new members have been working tirelessly to learn the skills required to serve this community to the best of their ability.

One of the first things that they received training on was their First Responder, which has them already attending medical calls and now they are taking their Level 1 and 2 Firefighting training. Training consists of an online courses and then each Wednesday, members attend live-training exercises either at the Fire Hall, or on the training grounds.

“They do the online modules, and then come here to practice the skills that they have been taught online, whether it be forcible entry, hose lines, search and rescue, etc., so it gives them a chance to put that knowledge to use first-hand,” Deputy Fire Chief Dean Brooman explained.

Seven recruits is the highest number that the MFD has ever brought in at one time, and Brooman stated that they are very pleased with the dedicated and commitment that each of the recruits has shown throughout the past 6 months.

“They have taken in so much information during their time here and have come through each new skill with flying colours and each of them has succeeded at all of those courses,” Brooman added.

Recently, the MFD made a new agreement with the province through Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency where members can make the choice to receive their level 1 and 2 firefighter provincially, or they can receive their certification through the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA). “It is a good option and is fairly new to us. We are able to deliver some of the NFPA programs and then get certified through the province on it. It is good for us, and gives us more ability to provide a higher standard of training and a higher recognition of training.”

Not only are the new recruits undergoing training, but members that have been with the local department for years also receive regular training to ensure their skill level remains top-notch for any kind of call that may come their way.

Members have annual mandatories for training to meet certain standards with both medical and fire, which includes everything from CPR, patient assessment, trauma, extrication, hydrants, ladders, fireground survival and much more.

“As a firefighter, you have to be a life-long learner. In my 28-year career, there have been so many new technologies, equipment, tactics and more, so we are always doing regular training here to ensure we are ready for anything. All of those things are constantly being met on a yearly basis and members have to be written off on them. It all gets tracked and we can see who has what. There is a lot of moving parts here when it comes to training.”

Each Wednesday, the MFD meets for training, which begins at 7pm and often, members are on-site until after 10:30pm throughout the summer months, taking advantage of the weather and daylight to pack in as much training time as possible. In the winter, more time is spent within the firehall and classroom working on training.

Members with the MFD are all paid-on-call firefighters, who have jobs outside of the department. “Members have jobs and families, so it is a huge commitment for them to be here and meet as much training as possible to keep with their credentials and attend calls. This community means a lot to us and we want to be able to provide the best service possible.”

There are currently 34 members on the MFD, and so far this year, they have attended 217 calls, which vary between medical, fire, motor vehicle collisions and more. Members work on shifts, which alternate between five “squads” consisting of six members each. Squads take a rotating schedule and are on call from 10pm-6am throughout the week, and on weekends are on call from Friday night to 6am Monday morning. During the day, members that are available attend calls, and for larger calls, it is “all hands on deck” with all available members coming in and when needed, mutual aid from surrounding community’s fire departments.

Brooman added that with a paid-on-call department, you get the added expertise from members that have other jobs outside of the department such as construction knowledge from working in various trades, or medical knowledge with an ICU nurse on the MFD. “The knowledge that our members have from outside the department is such a huge asset to our team and we are very fortunate that way. One thing I can say for certain is that past and present, members have been beyond dedicated and are always there wanting to serve this community, whether it be through calls, giving tours of the fire hall, flipping burgers and pancakes, the bike helmet program or riding in the parade. We are grateful for this community and the people that live in it.”

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