WATCH: Firefighters train for worst-case scenario

Saanich hosts survival training course for North American firefighters

Firefighters from across North America have descended upon Saanich to learn skills that could end up saving their own lives and the lives of their comrades.

Organized by the Saanich Fire Department and the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), the intensive sessions cross-train firefighters to become instructors who can then provide these survival skills to crews in their respective departments.

Brian Catinus, president of the Saanich Fire Fighters Association, IAFF Local 967, said the course teaches participants to escape situations that have historically been fatal for firefighters.

“They learn the confidence and tools to go back and show their own members to survive,” he said.

Twenty-nine firefighters from 16 departments across Western Canada, and eight instructors from across North America, including Arizona, California, Michigan and New York, are participating in this Train the Trainer program.

Craig Ford, acting platoon captain with the Saanich Fire Department, called the training “top-notch.”

“It’s unbelievable the level of experience that they bring, and also the knowledge that they are leaving us with to teach our own members,” he said.

Ford said training never stops. “Really, what we are training for is the worst day any firefighter will ever have,” he said. “So it’s really important training.”

The course teaches firefighters how to escape burning buildings when trapped by exiting through windows with or without ladders.

The training course — which took place over this week — draws in part on recent tragedy. On Jan. 23, 2005, two fires claimed three firefighters in New York City, while injuring four. Two of the firefighters died from falls.

“They realized they needed a better system for getting out of a window quickly without ladder,” said Catinus.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

 

With Saanich’s Fire Hall #2 in the backdrop, Cory Robinson from Fernie Professional Fire Fighters Association watches Grayson Kerr from the Sooke Professional Fire Fighters Association learn how to escape a burning building by sliding down a ladder. Saanich Fire Department and the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) hosted a survival skills training course for instructors. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Captain Dorian Jackson of the Phoenix Fire Department and the United Phoenix Firefighters demonstrates survival skills Tuesday during a ground survival course hosted by Saanich Fire Department and the International Association of Fire Fighters (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Just Posted

Sockeye fishery estimates cut in half on Vancouver Island’s Somass River

Alberni area fisheries closed; poor ocean survival a prime suspect

Wolves not to blame for Island’s deer and marmot populations, says researcher

Forestry practices, not predation, blamed for reduced numbers in prey animals

RCMP identify Sidney bank robbery suspect, believe he is still on Vancouver Island

Warrant issued for arrest of North Vancouver man for TD Bank robbery

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

RCMP confirm foul play in death of 60-year-old Metchosin man

Police believe crime an isolated incident

VIDEO: Dashcam video captures moment Victoria cyclist struck

Police seeking cyclist captured in video

Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

PHOTOS: You should see what we heard at the Vancouver Island Music Fest

This year’s lineup included Colin James, Tom Cochrane and lots more

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

Island man narrowly escapes being run down by his own truck

Saanich resident working on his truck on Darwin Avenue, when it started to roll on him

SLIDESHOW: ‘Lightning’ hits Vancouver Island for annual Sproat Lake regatta

Alberni Valley Regatta Association hosted sixth annual races

SLIDESHOW: Vancouver Islanders gather for classic cars and cool aircraft

Campbell River’s annual Wings & Wheels event held at city’s airport

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

Most Read