Students get to train like a firefighter for a day

Students get to train like a firefighter for a day

Students from School District 23 test their skills at the Kelowna Fire Department

From climbing ladders, to pulling 50 pound hoses, students from School District 23 tried their hand at firefighter training this week.

Gavin Weremy’s father is a firefighter at Station One in Kelowna and the grade-11 student thought he would attend the boot camp to see if his dad’s job is as tough as it seems.

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“I’m still a little shaky from the ladder climb, but it’s a lot of fun,” said the Mount Boucherie student.

Weremy is one of more than 40 students who participated in the event that has taken place for the last three years.

Fire line safety educator Rick Euper said the boot camp provides a hands-on experience for students which gives them an idea of how firefighters train.

“Every year we get them to fill out evaluation forms to see what they think about the program and it’s all been very positive,” he said. “When it comes to climbing that ladder, which is about 60 feet, we read the feedback about that, they say they would have never expected to climb up that ladder and they did it today.”

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After testing his physical ability at the firehall, Weremy said he would consider following in his father’s footsteps.

“There is a lot of knowledge, but also you have to have some strength behind you for some of the tests.”

Georgia Insley is also considering a career in firefighting, something she considers to be a more male-dominated industry.

“Today was fun, but the rope pull (up the building) is really hard because you have to lift a 50 pound rope up and it takes a lot of arm muscles,” she said.

The Kelowna Fire Department has their first ever structural fire fighter starting on Monday in a city position.


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