Edmonton needs 25 new HazMat techs, says chief

Edmonton currently has 110 trained HazMat technicians, but dealing with 813 spill-dominated HazMat calls in 2014 put stress on the team

HazMat calls are on the rise in Edmonton, arguably a “petrochemical capital,” and the city’s Fire Chief wants to hire 25 HazMat technicians to bridge the gap, a move that could cost upwards of $2.4 million per year.

Edmonton currently has 110 trained HazMat technicians, but dealing with 813 spill-dominated HazMat calls in 2014 put stress on the team. The Chief, Ken Block, only expects HazMat calls to increase in the coming year.

The number of train cars carrying oil products in Alberta is expected to jump by 242 per cent from 2012 to 2024, according to the Canadian Energy Research Institute.