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Wednesday , 18 May 2022

Protective Services Department 2021 highlights from Vermilion

The County of Vermilion River (CVR) Public Safety Division comprises of the; Community Peace Officer Program and Bylaw Services, and falls under the jurisdiction of the Protective Services Department (Fire, Enforcement and Disaster Management).

2021 was a busy and active year for the Peace Officer Program, particularly as it related to critical infrastructure protection, industrial site patrols and combating rural crime.

Commercial vehicle inspections remained a top concern for County Peace Officers, especially with the welcome uptick in oil gas drillings.

With a surge in rural crime, County Peace Officers stepped up industrial site patrols to deter theft, and worked with the RCMP and CN Rail Police, alongside Rural Crime Watch to promote reporting of suspicious activity.

An important improvement over previous years, has been the use of Peace Officers to assist with emergency scenes, such as directing traffic and preparing STARS landing zones. This allows firefighters to focus on the rescue work while enhancing traffic management during an emergency. Expanding their educational message was the introduction of our Voyent Alert notification app which co-ordinates urgent information messaging to subscribers. This allows police and fire to pass on critical time sensitive information about stolen cars, road closures because of accidents and other pertinent information. Add this tool to their vast, and active social media presence, communicating
with residents has never been or instant or as simple.

Another positive note from 2021 was the introduction of the iNet RMS Regional Communication Agreement between Taber
Police and the County of Vermilion River.

This system, along with the CPIC, iNet, RMS and eTicketing functions is expected to improve officer safety and efficiency.

Lastly, the Public Safety Division saw a rebranding strategy launched as part of a modernization program through the Strategic Plan – giving the program a facelift while maintain it’s high level of service to residents.

But the Peace Officer were not the only ones who had highlights. There are some great things and noteworthy events which occurred for our first responders with the Protective Services Department as well within the County of Vermilion River (CVR).

  • Introduction of the “green light” volunteer firefighter responding signs
  • Retirement of Orest Popil as County Fire Chief
  • April 7 Grass Fire in Dewberry kicked off our Wildfire Season
  • New Fire Truck: Islay, Paradise Valley and Dewberry
  • New Extrication Equipment for Blackfoot Fire Station on August 24
  • Appointment of Kirk Hughes as County Fire Chief
  • Retirement of Sgt. Roland Feist as Manager of the Peace Officer Program
  • Appointment of Chris Garner to Sergeant of the Peace Officer Program
  • Tulliby Lake Remote Medical Rescue
  • Lea Park Bridge Rescue
  • Trauma Bears with Winmar
  • Fire Prevention Week videos

“2021 was an intense year for the County of Vermilion River, with call volumes raising sharply,”  Director of Protective Services in the County of Vermilion River Kirk Hughes said. “We are thankful for our volunteers who answered the calls and to our community for supporting us. 2022 has already started off at a fast pace and we expect it to be as busy, if not more busy, than 2021”.

About Arthur C. Green

Arthur C. Green is an award winning journalist and is from Whitbourne Newfoundland. Green graduated from the CNA Journalism Program. Arthur also studied Business Marketing and Political Science at Memorial University in Essex England and St. John's Newfoundland. Green has worked for such organizations as CBC, CBC Radio, NTV, Saltwire, Great West Media, CKLB Radio, River Radio, Vista Radio, and Postmedia. He also loves Jiggs Dinner and can fillet a Codfish.