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

Meet Clover the Commonwealth Cat

Feline has made Saanich Commonwealth Place a second home

Margaret Atwood coming to UVic to discuss ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ sequel

‘The Testaments’ comes 34 years after release of famous novel, now a Hulu series

EDITORIAL: Summer camp offers a return to imagination

Put down the phone and unleash the potential within yourself

Indonesian artist coming for Quadra Island residency

Ipong Purnama Sidhi will arrive this week for one month stay with two local artists

UPDATE: B.C. pilot killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

Two cats die in house fire in Nanaimo

Fire happened just after 2 p.m. Sunday on Fifth Street, one resident displaced

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

RCMP arrest violent offender on Vancouver Island

Campbell River police struggle with suspect and take him down with a taser

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Most Read