Saskatchewan is a "prairie province" in the West Central region of Canada covering 227,134 square miles with an estimated population of 1,023,810. Most of the population of Saskatchewan resides in the southern half of the province. The province's name comes from the Saskatchewan River, whose name is...
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Saskatoon has three stations where dangerous goods response vehicles and equipment are located. Dangerous goods units are not dedicated, so personnel from other companies staff the dangerous goods apparatus and equipment when a call comes in. A total of 56 dangerous goods (hazardous materials) technicians are assigned to the department, with six to eight on duty per shift. All other firefighters in the city are trained to the operations level and dispatchers are trained to the awareness level.
Station 4, at 2106 Faithfull Ave., houses Engine 4, a 1998 E-One apparatus with a 5,000-liter-per-minute (1,250-gpm) pump. Engine 4 is first out on all dangerous goods incidents and carries monitoring equipment, foam eductors and an information library. Once on scene, Engine 4's crew determines whether additional assistance is required. If a call comes in as a chemical spill, all dangerous goods apparatus are dispatched initially. Two dangerous goods technicians are on duty at Station 4.
Station 7, at 3550 Wanuskewin Road, houses HM 40 and the dangerous goods trailer and pull vehicle. The 28-foot Wells Cargo trailer has a command post in the front and equipment storage in the back. The pull vehicle is Truck 40, a hazmat/rescue vehicle, which is a 1991 International that also responds to motor vehicle accidents on the city's north side. Four dangerous goods technicians are on duty at Station 7. In addition to the dangerous goods apparatus, Station 7 houses Engine 7, a 2001 Superior/E-One Cyclone II 5,000-liter-per-minute pumper.
Station 9, at 870 Attridge Drive, houses the decontamination trailer, which is a 24-foot Pace American car hauler converted by department personnel into two storage compartments and two showers. It has a heater and hot water supplied by a propane-powered forced-air furnace and a Bosch instantaneous hot water heater. All gray water from the showers is collected in a portable tank. The pull vehicle is a 1991 GMC Crew Cab 4x4 with a cap so that extra equipment can be carried in the back. Also housed at Station 9 is Engine 9, a 1991 Pierce Lance 1,250-gpm pumper.
Monitoring equipment carried by the dangerous goods team includes Industrial Scientific iTx four-gas monitors, RKI Eagle hydrocarbon monitors, pH/oxidizer paper, Spilfyter test strips, Dräger Hazmat Simultest sets I, II and III, Civil Defense Set I and V, Dräger Clan Lab tube set, Ludlum radiation monitor, Smith Detection infrared spectroscopy hazmat ID with the repeat IR and the extract IR kits to complement the hazmat ID. Level A chemical protective clothing consists of DuPont Tychem TK and Level B DuPont Tychem BR made by Lakeland Industries. Tychem suits are used because they are compatible with most of Saskatoon's chemical exposures and they have increased visibility with wide-vision panels. Saskatoon's team also carries assorted gloves and boots, coveralls and Kappler cooling vests. Respiratory protection is provided by MSA Advantage 1000 full-face air-purifying respirators (APR) and Survivair Panther 60-minute self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) with HP Series masks. The department is applying for a grant to purchase six Dräger BG4 rebreather four-hour masks. Computer-based resources include PEAC software, Cameo, wireless internet, University Chemistry Department and CANUTEC, the Canadian equivalent to CHEMTREC in the United States.
All front-line apparatus carry carbon monoxide (CO) monitors along with Peat Sorb absorbent for chemical and fuel spills, Plug N Dike for plugging and patching fuel tanks, and a white-powder kit for suspicious powder incidents. Each front-line apparatus also carries a response bag with forms and information books that may be needed to mitigate a dangerous goods incident in the first five to 10 minutes. CO responses are handled by engine companies, as are fuel spills smaller than 200 liters (45 gallons).
Saskatoon uses five levels of dangerous goods response: