Happy New Year to all! Here's our year-end details about how 2021 unfolded for RMES.
Your 29 volunteers ran 370 calls for service in 2021 - 165 medical calls, 109 rescues, 72 fires, 5 hazardous materials incidents, and 19 miscellaneous type calls. This amounted to a little more than one call per day.
We responded to calls in the Redwood Meadows and Bragg Creek area, as is our responsibility, but also provided support to other areas and partner agencies including other parts of Rocky View County, Kananaskis Country, the Tsuut'ina First Nation, the Municipal District of Bighorn, Foothills County, the Stoney Nakoda First Nation, and the town of Cochrane. We take pride in the fact that we are counted upon by partners everywhere to help them out when the need arises.
Our busiest truck remains the Rescue, as it goes on all rescues, almost all medical co-responses, and many fires and hazmat incidents. Closely behind it was the Rapid Response, which handles a lot of the same calls, can respond off-road, and also pulls our support trailer which carries the UTV side-by-side off-road vehicle for backcountry rescue and wildfire response.
Using the categories listed above, our most common medical co-response was for falls, with traumatic injuries coming a close second. This represents the popularity of the local area's recreation zones and the huge number of people who partake in such activities all year long. Please always make sure you are prepared for an emergency while out recreating - know where you are and how to communicate that to emergency services. If you are in an area where there is no cell service, make it a priority to know how to summon help, either by sending someone to an area where cell coverage exists, or investing in an emergency beacon device which can call for help without cell signals.
Our busiest Fire call type was for alarms - which covers automatic fire alarms, local fire or smoke alarm activation, and other alarm conditions such as carbon monoxide alarms, gas alarms, and etc. Be aware of your alarm system and its capabilities and what you need to do when it goes off. And while actual fires have been less of a concern in the past few years, don't let your guard down. Practice good fire safety, FireSmart procedures, and know what to do when fire strikes - you may need to take immediate action before we even arrive, and what you do may make the difference between a small problem and something much worse.
Our busiest rescue call type is, unsurprisingly, motor vehicle collisions, owing to the many roads throughout our district and the high amount of vehicles traveling them. Driving and using our road networks is something everyone needs to be more focused at. Be aware of other road users, including not only other traffic but pedestrians and wildlife, and drive to conditions, as well as keeping the goal of getting to your destination safely as your number one priority. And, if you encounter us or any other emergency service or first responder agency out working on the road, please don't forget to slow down and move over - give us room to work.
In terms of hazardous materials calls, concerns about natural gas leaks and odors was our busiest response type. It's never a bad idea to call for help if something doesn't seem right, or if you see or smell something that gives you cause for concern. We'll definitely come out and check things out, and bring the experts with us to ensure that everything is safe.
Finally, our 'other' or miscellaneous category covers all the other situations that don't fit into the above categories. This year, what we call 'service calls' or citizen assists were the predominant leader in this category. This covers everything from trees and/or power wires down, to stand-by for the filming of a TV show or movie, to helping deal with a host of other non-emergency situations.
Your volunteers contributed 17,744 hours of service to your community over the past year. For many of us, this involves either spending regular duty shifts (8am to 8pm, weekends and holidays) at the station, ready to respond to calls, or breaking away from family life and personal activities to respond at a moment's notice. Thank you to our families and friends for understanding our commitment to the emergency services and thank you for supporting us as well!
Here's to hoping that 2022 continues to trend towards a return to 'normal life' compared to the past two years. All the best to everyone, and stay safe!