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Mountain View County livestock emergency trailer deemed not needed

Olds Fire Department Chief Justin Andrew says purchasing a response trailer would be a duplication of an existing resource already in place at no cost
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MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - Council has received an update report on the possibility of the municipality purchasing and equipping an livestock emergency response trailer, with the conclusion being that such a trailer is not currently needed.

The report was prepared by administration and came before Mountain View County council at the recent regularly scheduled council meeting.

Such a trailer would have ropes, portable barriers and other equipment that could be used in the event of a livestock emergency such as a cattle liner overturning on an area highway or other roadway.

At the Aug. 10 council meeting, council requested administration contact Olds Regional Exhibition (ORE) and local fire departments to identify the need for a trailer and the opportunities available for collaboration on the development, purchase and operation of the trailer.

County administration met with OER and Olds Fire Department officials on Aug. 16 to discuss the matter.

Chris Atchison, director of agricultural services, said following the meeting officials concluded that a new trailer is not needed.

“There is no necessity for a livestock emergency response trailer at this time,” Atchison said. “In past instances, the Olds Fire Department has had success utilizing local resources in the event of a livestock emergency. This has been successful as they are able to request specific resources based on the nature of the emergency. There has not been identified the need for this type of apparatus.”

As well, he said, “The greatest requirement at this time is for basic training for fire personnel on livestock handling. Many members are not raised on a rural setting and do not have a knowledge around a cattle” and “ORE has been a great resource and is happy to continue to provide any resources required and/or liaison services with the local community where required.”

In a letter received by council, Olds Fire Department Chief Justin Andrew said, in part, “I would not recommend at this time that any direct purchase of a response trailer occur, as it would be a duplication of an existing resource already in place at no cost. If there was such a desire or ability to apply for grants or bursaries to fund such equipment, I would suggest looking at trying to improve the equipment already in place and/or formalize process for compensation when used.”

Atchison said county could consider hosting a regional training workshop for any local fire department’s interested in participating that would provide for information and techniques when dealing with a livestock emergency.

Council instructed administration to inquire with other area fire chiefs about whether a regional training program regarding livestock emergencies may be of interest.

“That would be my suggestion, that administration go and speak to the fire chiefs first and follow up on the (Andrew) letter and get some information as to what their requirements would be,” said reeve Angela Aalbers.