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Transportation Rescue Extrication program introduced in Sask.


A newly introduced program is giving volunteer firefighters in Saskatchewan the skills they need to help extract drivers from vehicles involved in crashes.

A total of $5.6 million in funding was given to the Transportation Rescue Extrication (TREX) program by SGI and the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency.

TREX is the first program of its kind in Canada.

The new training program is meant to equip volunteer firefighters in the province with the jaws of life tools to respond to accidents, which they are often first on the scene for.

Mike Beamish, a volunteer firefighter with Clavet Fire Rescue, said bringing this course to a centralized location is necessary for volunteer stations.

“Many of our volunteer departments don’t have the ability to send somebody away for six months at a time to go get those classes,” he said.

According to Beamish, the collaboration between SGI and the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency gives volunteers experience on cars they see on the road, which leads to more successful rescues and people believing they are career firefighters.

Volunteer firefighters from across Saskatchewan take part in the first ever TREX Jaws training program in Regina over the weekend. (Gareth Dillistone / CTV News)

There are over 432 volunteer firefighter departments across the province, with around 7,000 volunteer firefighters, and only about 30 per cent of stations have the jaws of life tools.

Jeff Soveran, Kindersley Fire Chief, said they cover a 4,000 kilometre square area for accidents and 3,600 square kilometres for fire.

“So this kind of training taking it back is the evolution of tools, it changes all the time, techniques change all the time and the biggest problem we have is the cars change all the time.”

Doug Lapchuk, Balgonie’s Fire Chief and past president of the Saskatchewan volunteer firefighter association said that in the province, there are areas where the wait is an hour and a half to two hours before a rescue is there.

“So by doing this programming, the idea is to get the training and tools into the hands of those volunteer firefighters,” he said.

A training program was held this past weekend, which was deemed a success.

Soveran said he and his four team members were setting up training Monday morning back home in Kindersley to pass on the knowledge they learned to their team. Top Stories

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