Below is a list of the most frequently asked questions regarding the Grand Coulee Volunteer Emergency Services. Should you have additional questions please contact the office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Regina Fire Department and Regina Emergency Medical Services come to Grand Coulee when there is an emergency right?
Yes, the Regina Fire & Protective Services (RFPS) and the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region – Emergency Medical Service (EMS) do respond to Grand Coulee.
- So we don’t really need our own emergency service, do we?
Yes, in fact we do. The RFPS and EMS will only respond to Grand Coulee if they have sufficient resources to do so. It is important to note that the dispatch of the RFPS and EMS to Grand Coulee is not automatic, a specific request must be made that they attend. This is usually done by the senior GCES person on scene. Without our own emergency services, we would have to pay the City the same rate as the RM of Sherwood pays for the City’s fire services.
- Should I get Fire Fighting Insurance?
We advise everyone to make sure that they have the appropriate Fire Fighting Insurance, we recommend that you have at least $10,000.00 firefighting coverage. The average firefighting costs can range from $1,200.00 to upwards of $10,000.00. Contact your local insurance broker for more information.
- If I have an emergency and call for help, what happens?
When you call 911 to report an emergency in town, the call is re-routed to Prince Albert or EMS dispatch. They will then initiate call out procedures for the GCES. All members of the GCES provide their numbers (home and cell) to EMS dispatch and first responders, firefighters or both are notified by phone to respond to the firehall. The nature of the emergency and location are also provided, if available, during that notification. Once sufficient members have arrived at the firehall, a unit or units are dispatched to the incident. When the senior GCES person arrives at the scene, they may request dispatch of additional resources from the city or surrounding communities if required.
- What happens if there is an emergency in town and the city emergency services cannot respond?
The GCES will continue to provide service within the scope of their training and ability until the incident is over or until relieved. This is why it is important for residents to become involved , to ensure there are enough responders to help if there is no outside assistance available.
- What happens during the week when everyone is at work?
This is a difficult time indeed to have people available to respond. That is why we encourage anyone who stays at home, regardless of gender, to volunteer with emergency services.
- What if I’m not big enough or strong enough to do this?
Size doesn’t matter, with training anyone can effectively respond to an emergency and help within their ability to do so. Physical size or gender is not an obstacle to success.
- What if I can’t respond when I am called? I have young children.
No one is asking that you risk the health and safety of your family. If you are called, but cannot leave without endangering your family, you should look to their safety and security first. That being said you must remember that as a member of the GCES you have pledged to, if at all possible and as soon as possible, respond to a call for assistance.
- I pay taxes for this sort of thing, as much as in the City, why should I have to do it?
You don’t have to do it of course; but the reality is that we don’t receive enough funds through Municipal taxes to fund a local emergency services organization. The City of Regina, for example, has the benefit of volume, they have many thousands of taxpayers to fund all municipal services including emergency response. In order for all of us to provide a level of emergency service without a significant increase in taxes, we have to do it with the help of volunteers. The GCES mission is to:
To preserve the quality of life of the residents of Grand Coulee and surrounding area by providing for the efficient and effective delivery of emergency services within our training and ability.
The following represents the Vision of that the GCES wants to achieve:
To become a responsive and progressive organization by building a dedicated team of motivated individuals that recognizes the importance of serving and protecting their community.
The only way to realize the mission and vision of the GCES is with the dedication and support of people just like you. As an added bonus, volunteers receive a tax incentive from the Federal and Provincial Governments in the form of a tax break on income tax.
- If there is a fire or other emergency I will just come out and help, I don’t need to waste my time training?
The area around an incident site can be extremely dangerous, even life threatening unless you have the training and equipment to deal with it. That combined with the fact that GCES volunteers train to function as a team, means you may be more of a liability than a help and that could get someone hurt or worse.
- I am very busy, I don’t have the time required for the required training.
The GCES is a dedicated group of ordinary citizens just like you, who give their time and expertise to help those in need. Joining the department and training to be a firefighter, first responder or both is an excellent way to become part of the community and help protect your family and property as well as others. It doesn’t really take all that much time.
- What is involved in training?
Basically, first responders are called to medical emergencies in and around town. They also respond to vehicle accidents on the #1 highway that are within our response area. The initial training is a weekend course provided by the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region that provides volunteers with a first responder certification. Think of it as a first aid course on steroids. Once that is completed there are a few meetings held in the town for orientation to new equipment and/or protocol changes. First Responder certification expires every two years and requires an eight hour re-cert course also offered by the RQHR. All training is provided free of charge. Firefighters are trained for the most part in house where they complete a curriculum of training designed to bring them to an NFPA certificated firefighter 1 & 2 level. This is the same basic training required by professional career firefighters. Also there are opportunities to partake in outside training through other communities and/or corporations. Firefighters meet bi-weekly for two to three hours in the firehall. The basic training and all personal protective gear/equipment is provided by the GCES.
- How do I join?
Just fill out the application form and drop it off at the Town office. All applications are confidential and protected when completed. A department representative will contact you with the time and place of the first meeting.