GFM Network News


Farming deemed essential in new federal pandemic guidance

Food production and supporting industries amid 'critical infrastructure'

Workers in agriculture and supporting industries are on a new federal guidance list of employees considered “essential to maintain the health, safety, security and economic well-being of Canadians” amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair on Thursday released a new guidance document, “Guidance on Essential Services and Functions in Canada During the

This crop-duster is a dual-purpose firefighting machine.

Birtle crop-dusters add firefighting to their profile

First-of-its-kind multi-purpose plane that can battle blazes ready for take off

A Birtle-area crop-duster is getting into the firefighting business. Randy and Janet Sandstrom have expanded their crop-dusting business to now offer aerial firefighting assistance to local fire departments. They are the proud owners of a serial No. 1 from Thrush Aircraft, a single cockpit plane with a switchback fire gate, the first-of-its-kind, multi-purpose aircraft capable


Province to upgrade emergency communications system

Unreliable FleetNet is 26 years old 
and at the end of its service life

With sporadic flooding this spring and grassfire season just around the corner, one reeve in Manitoba says at least they know they won’t be handling emergencies much longer without proper communications systems. Provincial officials say they are finalizing a request for proposals to replace Manitoba’s now obsolete FleetNet public safety emergency communications system. “We are

The site of a fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, April 25, 2013.

Small communities need to plan for big disasters

The explosion of a fertilizer plant in Texas almost one year ago can offer lessons to other 
rural communities when it comes to preparing for the worst

You might think you live in a sleepy rural community — one where “nothing ever happens” — but you’ll want to think again when it comes to planning for disaster management. “Just because you’re a small community, it doesn’t mean it’s not gonna happen,” said Frank Patterson, director of the Waco-McLennan County office of emergency

Firefighters responding to more diverse calls than ever before

It was the kind of heavy-handed knock on the door no one wants to hear, that told Donna Stewart a forest fire was closing in on her home. “I was terrified,” said the 65-year-old retiree, one of more than a dozen people evacuated after fire threatened the community of Badger this May. “By the time


Flax plant’s future up in the air

The flames that consumed the Glanbia flax-processing plant south of Angusville were doused last week, but a smouldering sense of uncertainty lingers. The plant formerly owned by Glen and Linda Pizzey was the largest employer in the RM of Silver Creek, providing not only 58 good-paying, full-time jobs, but also a large chunk of the

E. R. I. K. to the rescue

Should you suddenly require medical care, would emergency workers arriving in your home be able to quickly access information regarding your medications, doctor, next of kin, etc.? Most of us probably rely on our spouse or children or neighbours to provide such data. In examining our own lifestyle, however, I realized we not only keep