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Centre Wellington Fire Rescue was kept busy on the Civic holiday Monday

The team responded to several incidents, including a complicated rope rescue at Elora Gorge
elora gorge rescue August 2 2021
Fire fighters complete a complicated rope rescue at the Elora Gorge on Monday Aug. 2.

It was a busy weekend for the Centre Wellington Fire Rescue. On Sunday, the team responded to a serious motor vehicle collision that lasted several hours. Still, it was on Monday when they were much busier. They had three back-to-back calls within two hours - requiring all members of the team to respond.

The Fergus station was first dispatched to a small bush fire which was taken care of quickly. However, when they returned to the station, they were sent to the Elora Gorge for water rescue with the Elora station's assistance. Johnathan Karn Deputy Fire Chief for the Centre Wellington fire Rescue. Karn added when they arrived on the scene. They were able to locate a female who had been tubing and had a leg injury.

"The female was with a group of people tubing; she was conscious but had no life-threatening injury and had treated her leg as if it was a leg fracture. We had to splint her leg down at the river and then via the ropes and stock basket," Karn said.

Simultaneously the Fergus station was paged out again to a rollover accident on Highway 6 at Tower Street South and McQueen Boulevard. A male in his 70s sustained a head injury in a two-vehicle collision.

"It was an SUV driven by the male in his 70s it was rolled over. Bystanders say they were able to administer first aid on the injury and get him down. He was suspended by his seat upside down by his seatbelt. There was also a dog in the vehicle.  Motorists could secure the dog and get the driver cut down from his seatbelt before emergency arriving. they were a big help in a successful outcome for the driver."

Karn said they don't like to dispatch both stations to calls if there could be other calls happening simultaneously.

"If it is a technical rescue including rope, water rescue, and technical fire. Whichever district that calls in, we will commit the resources from that district plus one additional vehicle from the opposite station. Then that opposite station will have officers on standby to respond to calls in Fergus or Elora."

With rope and water rescue, they do take longer than 30 minutes. They are a minimum of an hour to at least a couple of hours. Karn said that when they are operating at the Elora Gorge, it is difficult to get out of it quickly. Meaning they do have to keep resources back so they can respond to other incidents.
The fire rescue squad was busy on Monday. However, Karn said he did expect more calls on a long weekend.

"I think not having great weather on Saturday and Sunday may have decreased the calls somewhat. But it would not surprise me if we were attending the calls in the Elora Gorge more often on the weekend. I'm only going to speculate the numbers were down because of the weather, but it is not unusual to have many calls on a long weekend."

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