Laurie Sheppedson | Aug 05, 2020

As much of the province has gradually begun to adopt Stage 3 practices of the Covid- 19 pandemic, so has North Frontenac Fire Departments.  Due to the Pandemic and our North Frontenac’s Community Control Groups recommendation, training events were suspended nearly 5 months ago. With Stage 3 opening up, the crews were excited to hear they could once again resume training exercises.  I got wind of the event and grabbed my camera and hearing aids and headed to the site.

On July 21, Pumper trucks from the North Frontenac Fire Department sister’s stations, Ompah, Snow Road, and Clarendon-Miller, arrived at the public boat launch on Palmerston Lake. The crews from each jumped out of their trucks in full gear, with their blue masks donned and keeping within the guidelines of social distancing, participated in “Pumper” training exercises. I am not a fire fighter so I’ll do my best with terms: These exercises, included setting up the intake hoses from the lake (called ‘drafting’ to the pumper trucks), knowledge of the controls, valves, pressure gages and all hose connections. They also reviewed operations of the ‘monitor’ (a large nozzle on the top of the truck) which can rotate 360 degrees and also spray several different pressures of water from a mist to a powerful jet. As they put their equipment through its paces, jets of water from the fire hoses, and monitor devices mounted on each of the three Pumper trucks filled the sky with arches of water streaming back into the lake. What an awesome sight!

The brand new Squad Truck pulled in, the sun gleaming off it’s bumpers, the colourful lights flashing and with a wail from the siren each fire fighter was able to review and familiarize themselves with all the equipment it carried within each organized compartment. I couldn’t believe one truck could have so many large drawers that slid out for quick and easy access to necessary tools and supplies, cabinets and hidden compartments that all lit up brightly with stunning LED lighting. Everyone should be very proud that we have this state of the art addition to our community.

We are all aware of the severe restrictions this pandemic has put on everyone, so it was heartwarming and comforting to see and know, that the First Responders for North Frontenac were back to their rigours training. Unfortunately, emergency situations still arise during a pandemic, so it is imperative that this training occurs on a regular basis. I truly enjoyed watching the comradery between each station as they took their training professionally and seriously, sharing knowledge, tricks of the trade and even had a joke or threw a poke at each other.

As I travelled home, I realized how little I really knew about our Emergency Personnel and what they are capable of doing as well as all the unique situations they are thrown into. Unlike the city with hydrants on almost every corner, these fire fighters have to find the closest body of water to fill their Pumpers to then fill their Tankers and then many times a Portable Holding Tank at the scene to fight any fire. Each station has highly trained medical personnel to apply First Aid, comfort and support to anyone suffering trauma until an ambulance arrives. They collect and have all imperative information scribed to hand off to the paramedics so no time is lost when seconds count. At each scene, be it a structure or forest fire, road or home accident, approved services of marine rescue or even ATV/Snowmobile mishaps, they work together until everyone is taken care of and all is under control.

Our First Responders drive their personal vehicles to the station so, in order for them to respond as quickly as possible to a 911 call…. REMEMBER TO STOP AND PULL OVER WHEN YOU SEE FLASHING GREEN LIGHTS, as well as ALL Emergency Vehicles from each station. It might be your loved one they are trying to get to.

As our community grows with new residents, more seasonal activities, better maintained roads and year round tourists, so does the call for the Fire Departments to grow. The North Frontenac Fire Department consists of highly dedicated, compassionate volunteers who aspire to serve all the needs of the community, therefore on-going recruiting is a major part of the departments growth. There is always a need for more volunteers to apply

If interested, go to North and search under township services for ab application form

No emergency is too big or too small for the North Frontenac Fire Departments. The amazing Firefighters from Ompah, Snow Road and Clarendon-Miller Stations, have each other’s back and, thank goodness, will always be there to serve the residents of North Frontenac. Stay Safe!!

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