A team of seven firefighters from Saik’uz First Nation are going to Nova Scotia to represent B.C. in the First Nations national firefighting competition.
Fire chief Gilbert Vickers along with 5 other members won the 2019 BC Provincial Fire Fighters competition held in Penticton B.C. in June and since then have been preparing for the national competition which is going to be held at Eskasoni First Nation in Nova Scotia from August 14 until August 18.
The Saik’uz team went up against 10 other teams from other First Nation communities in B.C. and won. Vickers said the team members have never been to Nova Scotia and are excited for the competition.
In terms of training, Vickers said the competition mirrors actual firefighting, so the crew has been working on team work, coordination between members, speed and agility.
Out of the seven members who are going for the national competition, Vickers said, this year they have three new junior members on team for whom this is their first year firefighting.
He said they won the provincials in 2017 and went for nationals to New Brunswick where they stood 8th. But Vickers said the team has a better idea of what the tournament entails and are looking forward to competing at the national level again.
The firefighters started fundraising right after they won the provincials and businesses and members have been very supportive of the team, Vickers said.
The sponsors for the team are the Vanderhoof Co-op, Vanderhoof Napa store, Aro Auto Parts, City Furniture, Streamline Signs, Earthenware, Sinclair Group, M4 enterprise and Carrier Sekani Family Services.