April 5, 2011, Vancouver - The B.C. Fire Training Officers Association announced late Monday that the it has secured a provincial gaming grant to further training of B.C. fire rescue service members. Grant money will be used for several training programs in 2011.
• Basic firefighter train-the-trainer certification program – $50,000 will be added to focus on training volunteer fire departments trainers who can then provide basic training to volunteer department members where access and affordability of training are an issue.
• Beyond Helmets & Hoses – $50,000 for the risk management fire officer training program. This initiative of the Fire Chiefs’ Association of B.C. will provide critical leadership training primarily to chief officers of volunteer and/or paid-on-call fire departments.
• Junior firefighter program – $30,000 has been earmarked for support of cadet or junior firefighter programs aimed at high school students to recruit potential firefighters for the B.C. fire service.
• Speaker series – $10,000 will be used for a professional development speakers series.
• First Nations recruitment and exam support programs – $30,000 to provide the opportunity for First Nations citizens to consider firefighting as a career choice or to provide trained firefighters in their own communities.
• Incident command training – $15,000 for ICS 400 training to co-ordinate the highest level of incident command training, which has been unaffordable for most departments.
Fire Chiefs’ Association of B.C. president Stephen Gamble and Dean Colthorp, president of the B.C. Fire Training Officers Association, said they are pleased about the receipt of these funds from the province. Training to all fire/rescue service providers is crucial to the safety of B.C.’s firefighters and will lead to better provision of fire rescue responses to citizens, as was identified in the 2009 Fire Services Liaison Group report Transforming the Fire/Rescue Service.