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It may be still wet and cold as we go into April, however, everyone working in the bush must be aware of Coulson’s legal and company requirements for forest fire preparedness and forest fire suppression. This year we are running with reduced logging crews to start operations. As workers come back to work after periods away, it is important these procedures are reviewed with them and that they have their fire fighting training refreshed.
Ron Sorensen has completed a Coulson Group Fire Preparedness plan for 2009. Everyone should review a copy of this plan to be familiar with procedures and emergency numbers. If you do not have a copy of this plan, your supervisor will and can supply a copy for your review.
Failure of the company and our employees to be prepared, to report fires, and to know how to take necessary initial action can cost the company huge amounts or money in lost timber and equipment, in billing for fire fighting costs and in additional penalties. Fires at any time, large or small, cannot be ignored. As the risk of fire increases, everyone must be more aware and diligent.
Our goal is to prevent or suppress all fires without damage. This may not always be possible but if we are able to show that we had the necessary equipment, training, and preparedness plans in place and that we were diligent in implementing our plan, we will be in a strong position to recover losses from the impacts of any fire.
Some key responsibilities of supervisors and workers are:
1) All activities are to be carried out in accordance with the Wildfire Act and Wildfire Regulations.
1a) Maintain sufficient Fire fighting Hand Tools
1b) Monitoring the Fire Danger
1c) Maintaining a Capability to take Initial Action on Wildfires
2) Ensuring that all work sites and machinery have the required compliment of fire fighting tools and equipment. Fire fighting equipment will be subjected to unscheduled periodic checks by both Coulson and Ministry of Forest’s personnel. Ron Sorensen or Scott Davidson will be available to assist in meeting this obligation. Records are to be kept of these inspections
3) Monitoring weather conditions on a daily basis and post a fire watch or suspend operations as directed by the Coulson Logging Manager or Forestry Manager. When working on “early shift” machinery must be down and crews on the road by 1300 hours Pacific Daylight Savings Time
4) Each Logging Supervisor and all contractors will be responsible for ensuring that all personnel are trained and aware of fire suppression and reporting procedures (WCB S100 Fire fighting Course and S100 Annual Refresher Course). Ron Sorensen and Paul Pashnik will be available to assist in meeting training needs.
5) Carrying out fire drills on a monthly basis when fire danger is moderate or lower and every two weeks when the fire danger is high or extreme. These fire drills are to be reported on the “Dailies”.
6) Testing pumps on a regular basis to ensure they are in good working order in the event of a fire. The pump tests are to be reported on the “Dailies”. Any deficiencies noted during the test are to Ron Sorensen or Scott Davidson and the pump brought to town for repairs.
7) Taking immediate action to control or extinguish any fire in or adjacent to your operation and directing those fire suppression activities until relieved of this responsibility by Coulson Group of Companies or the Ministry of Forests.
8) Advise duty officer of lighting events.
9) Ensuring adequate fuel breaks are in place when burning debris and that sufficient fire suppression resources are available to control any escapes.
The Coulson Group is now known around the world for leadership in forest fire fighting suppression. We certainly want to be able to show that we maintain our own base responsibilities in a professional and diligent manner as we are working on our own timberlands.
Let’s have a hot, fire free, and safe summer.