Last week was one of the busiest so far this summer for the Estevan Fire Rescue Services (EFRS) members.
A carbon monoxide (CO) alarm went off in the south-central area of the city at about 11:30 p.m. on Aug. 4. When crews arrived on scene they found that the occupants of the building safely made it outside. They weren’t experiencing any health issues from CO exposure and were waiting for the firefighters in a vehicle.
“Crews did enter the home and did pick up the 38 part per million (ppm) of carbon monoxide,” said Fire Chief Dale Feser, noting that the family called the emergency services just on time.
SaskEnergy attended the scene as well. Specialists found out that it was the hot water heater that resulted in the CO alarm.
“SaskEnergy did lock it out until it was repaired. Crews ventilated the home to return the atmosphere to normal levels again and safe for the occupants to re-enter the home and stay the evening,” said Feser.
Aug.4 at about 6:30 p.m. the crews also were called to an elevator rescue with the report of four people trapped in the building in north-central part of Estevan.
“When crews did arrive on scene, we found that the people were able to successfully free themselves from the elevator. There was nobody around,” said Feser, noting that if people make a 911 call they should make sure that they stay on scene until specialists arrive even if everything is fine.
“That way we can document everything and make sure that everybody is ok.”
Firefighters made sure that the elevator was working properly and cleared all the floors of the occupancy before they left. Feser said that on average they receive one-two calls for elevator rescue a month. He reminded that if anyone gets stuck, they should follow the simple instruction.
“The biggest thing that you want to do is, number 1, don’t panic. Number 2, is you are going to call 911 and report your location, how many people are trapped inside, if there are any medical conditions that anyone is experiencing at that time. So crews can get there in a timely manner and isolate the elevator and bring it down, so we can successfully extricate individuals out of the elevator car,” said Feser.
Firefighters assisted with water rescue at the Boundary Dam, where a paddleboat capsized leaving several people in the water on Aug. 5. By the time crews arrived one of the citizens had everybody safely out of the water. Firefighters helped EMS to make sure the rescued group was doing well. There were no injuries.
At about 11 p.m. the next night firefighters were called to a single-vehicle collision in the central part of the city. The driver was injured and transported to the hospital.
“We secured the area and assisted the Estevan Police Service with traffic control,” said Feser. “The vehicle was zeroed out and checked for any leaks as a result of the collision. However, that wasn’t the case here.”
And as soon as the crews returned to the station they received another call. Firefighters responded to a highway tractor-trailer fire ongoing at Highway 39 West at the weigh scales.
“There were three highway tractor-trailer units that were parked there. The third one was checked and found that it suffered a mechanical failure at the break part… It did create (some) smoke. The operator of the vehicle was located and indicated that there was no fire and he just repaired the break part,” said Feser.
On Tuesday night, all members of the EFRS were at the station for their regular training, where they went over the water rescue skills.
On PR-side, the EFRS participated in the blizzard-eating challenge at the Estevan DQ during Miracle Treat Day on Aug. 8. Firefighters lost this challenge to the Estevan Police Service.
“We definitely is going to have to go into some training and make sure that we are bringing our eating for the next year’s competition,” said Feser.
Proceeds from Blizzard sales that day were directed to the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan.
Firefighters also participated in Bright Eyes Dog Rescue barbecue fundraiser on Aug. 10. Parents could bring their children out to take a look at the firetruck that is used for the fire department and ask questions about EFRS, equipment and firefighters’ work.