As of December 8 @ 08:30
Alberta’s wildfire season is starting early this year, on February 20. This means that fire permits will be required for burning within the Forest Protection Area, except for a campfire. The early start is due to the drought conditions occurring in many areas of the province, which could lead to elevated fire danger if we do not receive significant rain in the spring.
Please do your part to help prevent human caused wildfires by using caution in forested areas. Now’s the time to go back and check on any winter burn projects to make sure they are fully extinguished. Stay informed of fire restrictions and fire bans in your area by checking Alberta Firebans.
2023 saw RMES attend 436 calls - the highest number of calls in our 45-year history.
Our call response types in 2023 were: Medical calls (48%), Fire calls (26%), Rescue calls (21%) and Hazmat/Other calls (6%). We saw a notable increase in fire responses this year from previous years. This can be attributed to great relationships with our partners in Rocky View which saw us getting asked to assist other departments on their fire calls.
Fun fact: Our busiest time of day for calls in 2023 was 4pm and the busiest day of the week for calls was Saturday.
RMES members invested 15,333 hours in the community in 2023. It would take 7.5 full-time paid fire fighters to do the work that our mighty group of professional volunteers did!
Over the past 45-years, RMES has had over 250 members “answer the call” to serve our community. Last year we welcomed 8 probationary members and said ‘see you soon’ to 9 retiring members – they will forever be part of the RMES family. Thank you to our members (past, present and future) and their families for your service!
We take the trust our community places in us very seriously and look forward to serving Redwood Meadows and the greater Bragg Creek area in 2024!
Winter has arrived, bringing a new selection of activities for you to enjoy in snow and on ice. Ice can be dangerous; it can pose a threat to your life if you try crossing it without proper safety precautions. Whether you’re going ice fishing, snowmobiling or just crossing the ice to get to the other side, you need to be aware of the risks and know what to do to keep you and your family safe. Here’s a guide to the basic of staying safe on the ice:
Plan ahead and have what you need: Before you head out on the ice, consult with a local source knowledgeable about the ice conditions on that body of water. You should also let someone know your place and estimated return time. This way, if anything goes awry, people know where you are. Be sure to bring a set of ice picks or claws as a way to measure the thickness of the ice and help you self- extricate if necessary.
Test the Ice thickness: Before you head out on the ice, be sure that it is the type of ice safe to be on. Any ice that has snow on it can be considered unsafe as the snow insulates the ice below and keeps it from getting cold enough to reach a safe thickness. Slush indicates ice is melting at the bottom. Look for blue ice! Test the thickness of ice every few steps: use an ice chisel, an ice auger or a cordless drill with a long wood auger bit. Use one of these to make a hole, then use a tape measure to get a measurement. You need 4 inches or more for walk or ice fishing, 5 inches for a snowmobile or ATV and more for vehicles.
Know what to do if you fall through: Despite your planning, ice can break unpredictably, especially in areas where there have been temperature fluctuations. If this happens, staying calm and knowing what to do can be the difference between life and death. Don’t try to remove your winter clothing as it can provide buoyancy with trapped air. Instead, turn toward the ice you came from, use your ice pics or claws to dig in and vigorously kick your feet while pulling yourself onto the ice by sliding yourself forward. Once back on the ice, roll away from the breakage to evenly distribute your weight and avoid breaking through again. Once you make it out, immediately make your way to a dry and warm place. If you have symptoms of hypothermia (shivering, loss of coordination, memory loss, slurred speech), call 911.
Until next month, stay safe!
Oh Christmas Tree!
As you deck the halls this holiday season, be fire smart. A small fire that spreads to a Christmas tree can grow large very quickly!
Did you know: Almost one third of home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical problems?
Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious.
A heat source too close to the tree causes more than one of every five of the fires.
Picking the tree: Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that don’t fall off when touched.
Placing the tree: Before placing the tree in the stand, remove 2 inches from the base of the trunk and make sure the tree is three feet away from any heat source. Add water to the tree stand daily.
Lighting the tree: Use lights for their designated purpose – indoor or outdoor. Replace any lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Never use lit candles to decorate a tree and always turn off Christmas tree lights before going out or going to bed.
After Christmas: Get rid of the tree after Christmas or when it gets dry. Dried out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home, the garage or placed outside against the home.
On behalf of all of us at Redwood Meadows Emergency Services, we wish you happy and safe holidays with family and friends!
Did you know that November is deer mating season? That means drivers run a high risk for collisions with deer and other wildlife. Animal-vehicle collisions are two times more likely in November than any other month of the year.
Use these 9 tips to avoid animal strikes and minimize their impact: