On Tuesday Sept. 26 at 4:00 p.m. at the site of the new Fraser Lake Regional Fire Training Centre (at the Fraser Lake airport), Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund Society representative, Jamie Nielsen, presented a cheque for $4,955.00 to the Fraser Lake Fire Rescue Training Society.
This funding provides assistance for the Fraser Lake Fire Rescue Training Society to clear, level and prepare the donated land to establish a regional training centre including a water storage tank and vehicle extrication props for training purposes.
Pacific Northern Gas has also donated $5,000 towards a wildfire sprinkler system, something that the team will require training on at the new site. The sprinkler system was identified as a lacking and much-needed piece of equipment this summer.
The new Regional Training Centre which will allow firefighters to have more realistic training. According to Dave Christie, president of the Fraser Lake Fire Rescue Training Society, smaller volunteer fire departments generally do not have the capacity to conduct live burns. Training consists of using theatric smoke and blindfolds to simulate a smoke-filled room, and buckets and tires to aim for with a charged fire hose.
“With long wait times and very limited space in the one training centre which services the northwest and northeast located in Fort St. James, many volunteer fire departments are struggling to get firefighters trained,” said Christie.
“With the new ‘playbook’ training requirements that fire departments need to train to for exterior attack, interior attack, or both, firefighters need a training centre with real scenarios to train with,” he added. “Seeing, feeling, and understanding real fire behaviour along with new firefighting techniques will save lives and reduce damage to structures when the real event occurs.”
The goal of the society is to have the Regional Training Centre starting operations in the summer of 2018.