Junior firefighters Declan Wells, Wyatt Powells, Isaiah van Wiltenburg, Dakota Stevens, Simon Byatt and Aydon Grant completed their four-day crash course program at Metchosin Fire Department on Sunday. (Facebook/Barb Sawatsky)

Junior firefighters Declan Wells, Wyatt Powells, Isaiah van Wiltenburg, Dakota Stevens, Simon Byatt and Aydon Grant completed their four-day crash course program at Metchosin Fire Department on Sunday. (Facebook/Barb Sawatsky)

Six young men get crash course in how to be a firefighter, Metchosin-style

Junior firefighters can become full-time members when they turn 19

From early morning wake-up calls to extinguishing small fires, a handful of young men had the opportunity to understand what it takes to be a firefighter thanks to Metchosin Fire Department.

On Sunday, Oct. 25, six teenagers completed the Metchosin Junior Firefighter course, a four-day program that allows volunteers ages 16 through 18 the chance to understand the ins and outs of firefighting, but without responding to an active emergency scene.

“The teamwork aspect is one of the biggest things we prioritize over the four day program,” said Chief Stephanie Dunlop. “Though they might have casually known each other before, they are a cohesive tight group by the end. We’re glad that we can teach these boys confidence, humility and perseverance.”

READ MORE: Three West Shore fire rescue teams looking for new recruits

Over the course of four days, the teens practiced how to search a house filled with smoke, save people stuck in their vehicles and rescue distressed people from the water using ropes.

While staying overnight at the fire hall, they were woken at 2 a.m. to extinguish a small car fire.

No girls were in the group because none applied this time around.

Though the standard practice accepts four applicants, who receive school credits for completing the course, they took in six and were able to comply with provincial health guidelines.

The program that’s been running for over 15 years doesn’t guarantee the teenagers become volunteer firefighters until they re-confirm their interest after they turn 19, the minimum required age to become a regular member.

Until then, they are encouraged to join weekly practices and training courses with the rest of the crew at Metchosin Fire Department.


 

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aaron.guillen@goldstream gazette.com

District of MetchosinMetchosin Fire Rescue

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