Nine fire stations in Saskatoon have become community-based protection services centers, staffed by 280 firefighters.
The Saskatoon Fire Department has twelve front line engines, two aerials, one heavy rescue truck, two tankers, two brush units, a host of auxiliary trucks, support vehicles, specialty trailers and a command bus, along with two rigid hull boats and one inflatable boat. The department has three reserve pumpers and one reserve aerial.
What do firefighters do?
Saskatoon firefighters respond to much more than fire emergencies. In fact, the majority of firefighters are trained in specialty rescue.
Training is provided on three levels:
- awareness (becoming aware of special rescue situations)
- operations (training in first response and scene assessment)
- technician (technical mitigation of the incident using specialized techniques and equipment).
A Saskatoon firefighter is trained in one or all of the emergency rescue operations.
Firefighters undergo ongoing training aimed at providing a reinforcement of fundamentals combined with a continual awareness of technical change. Firefighters are trained in the equipment and methods used to suppress fire along with building construction styles (an awareness of how buildings react under fire conditions).
In 2014, the Saskatoon Fire Department responded to about 2,900 fire calls. The majority of these calls are house, business, vehicle, and dumpster fires.
Saskatoon firefighters play a role in pre-hospital medical emergencies. Firefighters are trained as Primary Care Paramedics. All of our trucks are equipped with automated external defibrillators, donated by the Kinsmen Club of Saskatoon.
In an expanding role, firefighters provide a range of rescue services. Technical rescue includes: low and high angle rope, confined space, and trench rescue. Water rescue includes surface, dive, night dive, and ice rescue.
Firefighters are also trained to provide on-scene rescue capabilities for other responders who are lost or injured in a hazardous atmosphere.
To aid the firefighters in the search for coworkers who may be injured or unable to move, all are required to wear a Personal Alarm Locator Device. The P.A.L. begins beeping if the firefighter stops moving for 45 seconds.
Firefighters are trained to respond to situations involving the unplanned release of dangerous goods (and to prevent the escalation of that situation) such as chemical leaks, gas spills or accidents involving dangerous goods cargo.
In 2013, the Saskatoon Fire Department responded to more than 1,900 hazardous material calls including clean up following motor vehicle accidents, spills and leaks, carbon monoxide detector warnings, hypodermic needle pickup, and emergency response at Saskatoon's Diefenbaker Airport.