A ‘smarter’ training tool for these Ontario firefighters

St. Marys Fire Department purchases new SmartDummy rescue mannequin

The Town of St. Marys is named Stonetown for the abundance of limestone in the area. But when it comes to training and technology, the St. Marys Fire Department is far from set in stone.

The southwest Ontario-based department has further refined its training practices with the recent purchase of a new rescue mannequin.

“We train with the department every Wednesday night. I would say we’ll use the rescue mannequin at least two training nights out of four a month,” explains St. Marys Fire Chief Richard (Andy) Anderson.

“Sometimes a house will be donated to us that’s going to be torn down, so we’ll use that for different training scenarios. We practice search and rescues, taking somebody out of a second-storey window, getting people out of confined spaces,” he adds.

Weighing 110 pounds with reinforced high-stress points and a built-in voice box, the Lion (BullEx) SmartDummy rescue mannequin is durable and allows for realistic training scenarios.

“The SmartDummy can be set to gasp for air, call out for help or direct firefighters to search for additional victims. The ability to add a voice helps firefighters prepare to handle distressed victims,” says Anderson.

The fire department—consisting of 24 volunteers and two staff members—is very active in the St. Marys community, going above and beyond firefighting duties.

“The firefighters in St. Marys are very well-respected. Every year we have a fundraising Firemen’s Breakfast. Last year more than 1,000 people attended the breakfast and we were able to raise around $10,000,” says Anderson.

Safe Community First Responder Program

Since its launch, Enbridge's Safe Community program has invested more than US$14.3 million (more than C$18.6 million) in first responder organizations near our pipelines and facilities.

The money raised at each breakfast is donated back to the town to support various charitable groups like the Salvation Army and local sports teams, including ringette, hockey and baseball teams.

“We also have an annual door-to-door campaign where we spend an evening out in the community. We visit 1,000 homes across the town providing literature on fire prevention and checking smoke and carbon monoxide alarms for residents,” Anderson explains.

“We've been doing the campaign for three years now and it’s been very well received by the town. It’s a really good program and we're excited to continue with it,” he adds.

Safety is the very foundation of our business at Enbridge, and since 2002 our Safe Community program has awarded grants for equipment, professional training or education programs to first response organizations. Recently, we provided $3,000 toward the St. Marys Fire Department’s purchase of a SmartDummy.

“I would not have been able to get the money for the rescue mannequin through the town—I can’t say it enough how companies like Enbridge help us out. We’re thankful to be able to purchase these things we couldn’t have otherwise.”

(TOP PHOTO: Members of the St. Marys Fire Department practise rescue techniques with their recently acquired rescue training mannequin.)