Volunteer firefighters received training at the 2019 Spring Training in Lake Country. Firefighters learned how to fight LNG-based fires. Photo: Mackenzie Britton/Capital News

Firefighter spring training comes to Lake Country

From LNG to breaking down doors, firefighters get training from industry pros

It was a firefighters’ work retreat in Lake Country this weekend, as the 2019 Firefighter Spring Training came blazing in offering major training to volunteer fire departments from across B.C.

The FortisBC sponsored event aims to train volunteer firefighters with equipment and scenarios that they may not have been trained in previously to best prepare departments for everything from LNG leaks to forest fires.

“We spend some time with the firefighters in the community to help them better understand the characteristics of LNG,” said Ray Kroll with FortisBC LNG operations.

Teams of firefighters go through various training stations to work with industry professionals from FortisBC, BC Wildfire Services, Justice Institute of B.C., RCMP and others.

District of Lake Country Fire Chief Steve Windsor said that the spring training is the only place to learn some of these necessities.

“It’s really priceless for a lot of these small communities throughout B.C. It gives that opportunity they might not get in their home town to train on things they would not necessarily encounter,” Windsor said.

One example Windsor said was that fire crews training at Kelowna Airport may not have an airport in their community, but they’re still getting the necessary training in case of that rare emergency.

The fire chief said that the training comes at good timing as fire season is just around the corner

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The two-day training event started just over five years ago. More than 300 volunteer firefighters from across B.C., including some from Alberta, joined the 2019 training in Lake Country.

Whether it’s in the classroom or hands-on training, the various volunteers who come to the training are eager to expand their abilities when it comes to protecting their communities.

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