Source: Fertilizer Canada news release
In 2008, Fertilizer Canada under the direction of the Fertilizer Safety and Security Council produced a comprehensive first responder communications and training package, which was distributed to some 4,500 firefighters across Canada, through a partnership with the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs. The program aimed to inform frontline responders about the importance of recognizing anhydrous ammonia and the action required to protect themselves and the community in the event of a spill.
Today, building on the success of the Safety and Security Council’s training package, Fertilizer Canada and the Paramedic Association of Canada have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC), agreeing to work together to update the training program to provide all emergency responders with the information and training they need to safely deal with an anhydrous ammonia incident.
“The safety and security of Canada’s First Responders is a priority for Fertilizer Canada, and we want to ensure that when our products are handled, First Responders have the required training to deal with any situation involving ammonia”, said Garth Whyte, President and CEO of Fertilizer Canada. “Working with First Responders from across the country to implement and learn these safety techniques will allow First Responders to continue keeping Canadians safe.”
Now that the MOC has been signed, a Steering Committee will be established, consisting of members from the First Responder community, to review training materials and provide comments to ensure the materials accurately represent the role and actions of First Responders during an anhydrous ammonia incident.
“Canada’s Paramedics play a critical role in protecting the safety of the public, communities, and the environment every day”, said Chris Hood, President of the Paramedic Association of Canada. “By collaborating with the Canadian Fertilizer industry we are ensuring that our men and women who arrive on the scene everyday have the information and necessary training they require to safely deal with anhydrous ammonia.”
The updated course will teach first responders how to identify anhydrous ammonia’s basic properties, how to respond to an incident, perform first aid in the event of exposure to anhydrous ammonia and establish emergency plans.
“Protection for first responders is critically important – we need to take care of those who take care of us,” said Pam Damoff, Member of Parliament for Oakville North-Burlington. “First responders put themselves in danger when responding to emergency calls every day. We must ensure they have the training and education required to deal with any situation they may face on scene to ensure their own safety and the safety of the community.”
“Today’s partnership announcement is a proactive initiative by the fertilizer and first responder industries to ensure that this training program incorporates the latest information and best practices.”
Fertilizer Canada and the Paramedics Association of Canada look forward to working together as they develop and distribute the Anhydrous Ammonia Training for First Responders to ensure that all first responders have access to the important information that is critical for the safe response to an incident.