• Lorna Hamilton

County Of Protective Services July Update


Putting out a tractor fire on Highway 16. Photo submitted

The County of Protective Services once again had a busy month with wildfire/structure fires, medical calls, and motor vehicle collisions. In the numbers reflected some calls within the Town of Vermilion, Villages of Kitscoty, Marwayne, and Paradise Valley are not included. An example of such would have been the commercial/industrial fire in Vermilion. According to County of Vermilion River Fire responded to 55 calls for service in July.

They responded to one structure fire, nine wildland fires, two vehicle fires. One gas-electrical/hazmat, four alarms, 16 medical, five mutual aid requests- CVR, one regional assistance, three provincial assistance, three public assistance and four motor vehicle collisions, one rescue and five fire investigations.

July 3 and 4 there were two fire calls, the first was for an outside fire found in a small field and some hay bales in which Marwayne Fire and Rescue responded and the second was for a motor vehicle collision on Dewberry Highway #45 for a multi-vehicle collision in which Dewberry Fire and Rescue as well as, Clandonald fire responded. RCMP and EMS were also dispatched, with only minor injuries reported. During the same weekend, firefighters were on stand-by for the Dewberry Chuckwagon events.

During July 7 – 11 Vermilion Fire responded to an industrial fire in Vermilion at Morton Waterwell Drilling. Clandonald Fire and Dewberry Fire and Rescue responded to an outside field fire due to sparking hydro wires. Crews worked quickly to knock down the head and flanks of the fire and mopped up any hot spots. The fire straddled a Ducks Unlimited parcel so extra care was taken to prevent the fire from extending into the marshes. July 10, a grass fire was reported and Clandonald and Dewberry Fire and Rescue responded and contained the fire which is believed to be started by a lightning strike. Just minutes after the tones dropped for Clandonald and Dewberry a call was dispatched to Kitscoty Fire Department for a smoke investigation near the CN tracks off of Highway 897, crews arrived to a small grass fire near a hydro pole. There were two separate medical calls on the evening of the 10th for assistance in which Paradise Valley Fire and Rescue and Marwayne Fire and Rescue responded.

A Motor Vehicle Collision was also reported on July 11 which sent Marwayne Fire and Rescue, EMS, and the RCMP out to Highway #897 at 2:44 p.m. No injuries were reported.

Between July 12 and 16 there were five fire calls, relating to an outside fire involving fresh-cut hay which Vermilion Fire and Rescue responded with County resources. An electrical fire sent Dewberry Fire and Rescue and ATCO out for a report of a sparking hydro line that set a nearby tree on fire. July 15 Vermilion firefighters were sent out for a tractor fire on Highway 41, and on July 16 County Pumper and duty crew was sent out towards a flare-up burn pit when an observant driver noted dense smoke coming from the west side of Marwayne, crews worked quickly to contain the fire while cooling down nearby ember piles and knocking down sizeable flames. The Vermilion Fire and Rescue with County Engine/Pumper, Tanker/Tender, and Rapid /Wildland were sent out when a lightning strike caused a ditch fire. In this time period Blackfoot and Paradise Valley also responded to two separate medical calls within the region.

On July 20, a trailer fire west of Vermilion on Highway #16 sent Vermilion Fire & Rescue Society out with County Engine/Pumper, County Tender/Tanker, Vermilion Command truck, and RCMP at 5:09 p.m. Responding crews made quick work of the trailer content fire and managed to salvage most of the contents.

July 26, a reported three-vehicle collision involving a transport truck and passenger vehicles sent Vermilion Fire & Rescue out the door at 11:31 a.m. alongside Highway #16 and Kenilworth Lake. Rescue, Engine/Pumper, and Tanker/Tender were dispatched along with RCMP, EMS, and County #9-1.

The first arriving fire apparatus secured the scene and evaluated the situation. Thankfully, there were no injuries and only minor damage. Other units were stood down, also a report of a serious two-vehicle collision north of Highway #16 with injuries and entrapment sent Blackfoot Fire and Rescue and Lloydminster Rescue Squad out at 5:21 p.m. County Engine/Pumper, Command and County Rapid were dispatched along with County #9-1 (Chief Hughes), Prairie EMS, Lloyd Rescue Command and Kitscoty RCMP. The first arriving fire apparatus tended to the patients and managed to gain entry into the entrapped vehicle. Two patients were treated on-scene and transported to the hospital via ambulance. The month of July was busy for all departments, but not all were of a serious nature as RCMP, County Peace Officers, EMS provided a presence at the Lea Park Rodeo while Marwayne Fire and Dewberry Fire were on hand to be the primary responders of the event.

Marwayne Fire and Rescue alongside a Community Peace Officer were dispatched to the sound of crying on July 26 to find a dog stuck in a culvert pipe after chasing a skunk which was also trapped, both were rescued. July 29, numerous members of Protective Services had the joyful opportunity to participate in the Vermilion Parade: Councillor Les Cusack lead the County of Vermilion River contingent while riding aboard the newly acquired Islay Wildland #3-4 driven by Duty Captain Martha Spinks. The “Candy Crew” consisted of Lilly, Liam, Clark, and Grant watched over by Chief Kirk Hughes and Firefighter Grant Roberts.

Following in the back (in case of a fire call) Vermilion Fire & Rescue with the Ladder truck, Rescue, Pumper, and County Tanker.

The first part of August also seems to be starting a busy run for the County of Vermilion Protective Services as they have responded to four reported fire calls and a string of medical calls between August 1-5.

The weather has been dry and hot for the most part and the County of Protective Services would like to remind everyone to be observant, careful, and caring.