Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue (KBRFR) crews participated in advanced wildfire suppression training last weekend.
Joined by firefighters from Regional Districts of Kootenay Boundary and Central Kootenay, in total, 39 structural firefighters honed their skills and knowledge to lead a single fire engine and attached personnel to fight wildland fires this summer.
“We’re really pleased that firefighters from across the RDKB and RDCK will receive training in more advanced supervisory roles during a wildfire and allow us to expand our capacity to help the BC Wildfire Service fight wildfires across the region this summer,” said Dan Derby, Regional Fire Chief, KBRFR.
Structural firefighters trained in wildland firefighting are dispatched to fight wildfires at the request of the BC Wildfire Service or the Office of the Fire Commissioner.
The two-day Engine Boss course trains firefighters how to safely lead their crew and to take responsibility for crew safety and reporting to other incident supervisors during a wildland fire incident.
Derby, who is also president of the Fire Chiefs Association of British Columbia (FCABC), said the course was developed in partnership between the Office of the Fire Commissioner and the BC Wildfire Service, and is supported by the FCABC and host fire departments including KBRFR.
“This kind of training only happens when everyone involved in fire suppression – structural and wildland – cooperates toward the same goal of getting more structural firefighters trained to take on leadership roles during interface wildfires so we can respond as a team with BC Wildfire to keep people safe during wildfire season.”
Field training for the course took place on Saturday, June 5 in Trail after a one-day online training session.
“We’re also really thankful to our instructors from the City of West Kelowna and the City of Penticton who took the time to develop and deliver this course,” said Derby.
“Everyone has stepped up to make sure we keep improving our fire suppression skills at the municipal and local government levels.”
Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue serves Lower Columbia communities including electoral areas A and B/Lower Columbia-Old Glory from fire halls in Rossland, Warfield, Trail, Genelle, Montrose, and Fruitvale.