There is a new regional training centre in Fraser Lake for firefighters.
The Fraser Lake Fire Rescue Training Society unveiled the training centre with a live fire burn building on Oct. 19. The centre is located at the Fraser Lake airport.
Fraser lake Fire Rescue did a live fire demonstration for members of the media and public who attended the event.
“The purpose of the Regional Training Centre is to provide a Regional Fire Rescue Training Facility,” said Dave Christie, president of the Fraser Lake Fire Rescue Training Society.
The building will provide a safe training environment and create realistic training scenarios, he said.
This facility will host indigenous and non-indigenous fire rescue departments, other emergency services organizations and industry first responders from around Northern B.C.
“This is a bid deal as our facility which is very specialized, and the location of the site will help small emergency services departments and industry in Northern BC. We will no longer need to spend most of our budget on travel to Southern BC for this type of training,” he said.
Without the support of Nadleh Whut’en First Nation, NKDF and Coastal GasLink, Christie said the team would not have been able to purchase the final piece for the Regional Training Centre – the Live Fire Burn Building.
Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund (NKDF) contributed $72,668 towards the Live Fire Burn Building and presented the cheque to Christie during the event.
Other notable equipment on site was the Sprinkler Protection Unit that was bought in 2017 and used in the 2018 wildfires. That equiment has been of great help in dealing with fires, Christie said.
Meanwhile, in an Oct. 10 release, Kiel Giddens who is the BC Public Affairs Manager for Coastal GasLink said, “First responders need to be training to the latest standards and have the skills and tools to keep their communities safe.”
This project will allow firefighters to get the training and experience right in Fraser Lake, Giddens added.
NKDF Chair Cindy Shelford’s statement in the media release stated that these projects will expand the economic and employment opportunities in the region and promote community well-being and generate local spending.
“Our communities will see many benefits from these projects, not only for their quality of life but also for attracting tourists and business to the region,” Shelford added.
Nadleh Whut’en Chief Larry Nooski said he was disappointed to not see any representative from the provincial government at the event. But apart from that he said that being prepared by having trained firefighting personnel and proper equipment will give people in the region a peace of mind.
Mayor Sarrah Storey said she was very happy to see the building come to fruition. She echoed the same thoughts about economic development and employment opportunities as a result of this new facility.
The Fraser Lake Regional Training Centre has been funded by the members of the Fraser Lake Fire Rescue Training Society, Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund, Village of Fraser Lake, Nadleh Whut’en & Stellat’en First Nation, Regional District Bulkley-Nechako, Costal Gas Link, Four Rivers Co-op, Government of BC, Pacific Northern Gas, Burns Lake Community Forest, Endako Mine / Centerra Gold, Newgold and the Fraser Lake Fire Rescue Fire Department