Lake Country looking for applicants for junior firefighter program

Challenging course will teach youth about being a firefighter

Recent graduates from Lake Country's junior firefighter program have highly recommended the program.

The Lake Country Fire Department is offering a free junior firefighter program for grade 11 and 12 students interested in learning about careers in firefighting.

There are a limited number of spots available but the program is open to anyone age 16 to 18 that is interested in making a commitment to the 50 hours of training. Participants could be home-schooled, international students or even living or attending school in a neighbouring community.

Junior firefighters learn about exterior firefighting through seven different modules about safety, self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), ladders, hoisting equipment, ropes and knots. There are practical and written tests plus extra components like auto extrication, car fire, propane fire, dumpster fire and even ice rescue (ice conditions/weather permitting).

The program starts Nov. 17 and runs until May with Christmas and spring break off. Training sessions are held in Lake Country on Thursday nights from 6 to 9 p.m. with the option of two Saturdays for a full day of first-aid and a chance to use the live fire burn building in Vernon.

“This program can be challenging at times but we try to make it fun,” said trainer Eric DeGelder. “They will leave with some good memories and certificates. This program isn’t offered anywhere else that I’m aware of which makes it a great opportunity to learn something new that may help enhance their resume. It is definitely something interesting to talk about in their graduation-required MAP interviews or job interviews.”

Interested students can contact Fire Inspector, Eric DeGelder by e-mail at edegelder@lakecountry.bc.ca or phone Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 250-766-2327.