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Meth Training for first responders expanded in Rural Manitoba


December 11, 2007
By Special to Fire Fighting In Canada

Nov 30, 2006 - WINNIPEG - The Province of Manitoba will expand its successful crystal meth training initiative to ensure frontline personnel in rural communities have the training and resources needed to detect labs and help those addicted to the drug, Attorney General Dave Chomiak and Healthy Living Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross announced in a government press release issued Nov. 29..

WINNIPEG – The
Province of Manitoba will expand its successful crystal meth training
initiative to ensure frontline personnel in rural communities have the
training and resources needed to detect labs and help those addicted to
the drug, Attorney General Dave Chomiak and Healthy Living Minister
Kerri Irvin-Ross announced in a government press release issued Nov. 29.

"Nearly
600 first responders across Manitoba have received training on meth use
and production since our government announced this training initiative
in the spring," Chomiak said. "We will now step up our focus to prepare
even more frontline workers in Manitoba municipalities to detect labs,
recognize the hazards associated with this deadly drug and protect
themselves when dealing with crystal meth."

Chomiak said the
program will be expanded to ensure more Manitoba municipalities are
able to access a pioneering web-based training program offered by the
Canadian Police Knowledge Network, a not-for-profit corporation that
provides e-learning for police.

The minister said Manitoba
Justice will secure additional training kits and ask municipalities to
identify one or two frontline workers to receive training and
co-ordinate information sharing within their communities. Manitoba
Justice will provide additional course kits at no cost to the
municipalities.

The course offers detailed information on the
characteristics of crystal meth including symptoms and effects of use,
methods of production, detection of crystal meth labs and associated
hazards.

Web-based course delivery provides the flexibility of
completing the training at work or at home at a pace of the student's
choosing.

Manitoba was the first province to make comprehensive
training on crystal methamphetamine available to such a broad range of
first responders including police and provincial and municipal agencies
across the province. Frontline personnel can take the interactive
training course from any Internet-connected computer.

"A comprehensive training initiative is a key component of Manitoba's strategy to tackle crystal meth," said Irvin-Ross.

"Our
government is committed to ensuring frontline personnel have the tools
and resources necessary to help people addicted to meth and to safely
shut down meth labs."

The cross-province training initiative for
frontline staff follows a series of day-long training sessions for
child-welfare, addictions and mental-health service providers.

Irvin-Ross
recently opened a new facility to provide a safe, secure environment in
which youth can be stabilized after severely and persistently
experiencing the effects of drugs including crystal meth.

— Province of Manitoba