Port Alberni firefighters getting life-or-death training
Port Alberni firefighters are conducting life-saving training not just for the people they rescue, but themselves as well. March 13, 2019. (CTV Vancouver Island)
They’re used to training to fight fires and save lives but this week fire fighters in the Alberni Valley are learning how to save their own lives.
A specialized training unit donated by the International Association of Firefighters is in Port Alberni for a week-and-a-half so department members can use it to run through a series of life-saving scenarios.
Brent Rose is one of two Alberni firefighters who took advanced training on the Lower Mainland two years ago and are now sharing their new techniques with fellow team members.
“This is life safety training so when things go really bad in a fire, hopefully that never happens, but when it does, this is going to hopefully save the fire fighter’s lives," he said.
Members are being put through five different scenarios, including entanglements and crawling through tight spaces with their gear on in the hopes learning under controlled circumstances will help them should they face similar dangers in the future.
Each of the scenarios was designed as a result of a National Institute of Safety and Health report that looked into line-of-duty deaths where fire fighters lost their lives. The International Association of Firefighters created the training program and manufactured a specialized trailer that is used by firefighters to climb on, over and through.
“There’s a couple of trailers throughout Canada. This particular trailer is being kept pretty much in BC. We sign up for it, we’re able to bring it, we’re the first ones to be able to bring it to the island," Rose said.
The special unit will be in Port Alberni for the next week so all area fire fighters get the chance to experience it.