Banff fire department showcases wildfire preparedness amid Alberta’s wildfire season

April 24, 2024

Banff’s fire department teams up with local agencies for wildfire safety demonstrations

In an effort to enhance community awareness and readiness for wildfire threats, the Town of Banff Fire Department, in collaboration with Canmore Fire Rescue and Parks Canada, conducted educational demonstrations on Tuesday (23 April).

The event, held for the residents of Valleyview, featured live demonstrations on how emergency crews would employ high-powered sprinkler systems and firetruck operations to combat potential wildfires.

Advanced firefighting techniques displayed to promote community safety

Throughout the day, firefighting teams showcased a hydrant-based sprinkler wet line at the interface between community and wildland, simulating how they would handle an actual fire scenario.

They also demonstrated simulated engine operations, aimed at preparing both residents and responders for swift actions during emergencies.

Fire Chief Russ Geyer emphasized the importance of community involvement in wildfire prevention: “They can see the efforts we make in protecting the community when a wildfire arises.

“They can also see how they can be a part of that community prevention,” Geyer said.

Educational efforts and community engagement highlight Banff’s proactive approach

During the demonstrations, the fire department provided details on the FireSmart program, which offers financial incentives for residents to implement preventative measures such as replacing combustible materials on their properties.

These include switching out conifer trees and roof shingles that are more likely to catch fire.

Firefighters also highlighted how homeowners could easily install rooftop sprinkler systems, available at discounted rates from the town.

Banff and Canmore strengthen regional wildfire defense through collaboration

The proactive measures come at a critical time, following a record year for wildfires in Canada.

With forecasts predicting another dry summer, local officials are urging residents to prepare adequately for potential emergencies.

Katherine Severson, Banff’s director of protective services and emergency management, outlined the training and preparedness of local fire services: “Our firefighters and partner agencies are highly trained and prepared for disaster response.

“We ask residents to help us reduce the risks of fire spreading within their neighbourhoods and businesses to develop and test their emergency response plans to support their staff, customers and properties,” said Severson.

FSJA Comment

The collaboration between Banff’s fire department, Canmore Fire Rescue, and Parks Canada is a commendable effort aimed at mitigating wildfire risks through community engagement and education.

This initiative prepares the community for immediate threats and fosters a culture of preparedness that is essential in regions prone to wildfires.

The comprehensive approach taken by the fire department to involve residents in safety measures and the availability of resources like the FireSmart program exemplify proactive disaster management.

Such community-focused strategies are crucial in enhancing the resilience of communities facing natural disasters.

Read Next

Subscribe Now