More than 150 firefighters from about two dozen B.C. communities were in the Penticton area over the weekend to get some valuable training.
They were taking part in a Wildland Urban Interface Training Symposium.
“We’re trying to get ahead of the curve, get out before fire season hits, and get local firefighters and departments all geared up and ready to go education-wise,” Gord Parker with the Office of the Fire Commissioner said.
Phil Robson lives in a forested area near Campbell Mountain.
“You become pretty aware of the danger of wildfires and there’s a lot of fuel in this area,” Robson said. “You’ve got to be really aware of the dangers of wildfire living in a forest.”
Robson offered up his house for firefighters who were learning the proper techniques to protect structures using sprinkler systems.
“We’re trying to build those foundation skills where teams can come together, and in a really timely manner, get systems set up around structures to deal with that home ignition zone which is so critical.” Fire Commissioner structure protection specialist Jamie Svendsen said.
The exercises included command centre operations and communications. It’s training that is valuable in various emergency situations.
“The organizational part, they can use it on anything,” instructor Darren Lee with West Kelowna Fire & Rescue said. “They can use it on flooding or landslides or any sort of big event.”
This is the first time the Penticton Fire Department has hosted the three-day event. They’ll likely do it again next year.
Global News, April 9, 2018