Being a firefighter is a tough job, but imagine being a part of another group that will travel wherever, whenever, and when needed. That’s what Canada Task Force 2 does.
The team is comprised of over 150 Rescue Specialists, Doctors, Paramedics, Structural Engineers, Communications Specialists, Canine & Technical Searchers, Logistics Specialists, and Command Staff.
Airdrie has five residents that are members of the task force, and Airdrie Fire Chief Mike Pirie is one of them.
“When disasters hit communities [like] floods, fires, earthquakes, [and] tornadoes, this is one of the teams that can be used to help local resources.”
For example, the force could bring a team called the Incident Management Team, they could help with anything like medical care, hazardous materials, and structural collapse.
Pirie has been deployed to several disaster sites, including the High-Level fires and to the Yukon to help manage their floods.
“People who become members of the team are required to train and it's done on their own time. It's volunteer, they have to have specialized training in search and rescue, and structural collapse. It really depends on their specialty [in] Incident Management, logistics or things like that.”
Being on a team like this, according to Pirie, is amazing. You access training and experiences that you wouldn't normally get day to day.
“There's a lot of pride when you go into a community to help them with a disaster, whether it's a fire or a flood. You get to contribute directly to the management of their incident and help them recover from it.”
When attending a disaster, their mandate is to deploy up to 75 specialized team members and related equipment within 4 hours of incident notification. Upon arrival, the team is capable of operating 24 hours a day for up to 14 days with the equipment and supplies to be fully self-sustaining if required.
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