By Lauren Scott
Experienced firefighters and service hopefuls got the chance to learn from industry experts and expand their skillset at a unique educational event.
On Sept. 30, Canadian Firefighter magazine held its annual Firefighter Training Day and Career Expo at the Fire and Emergency Services Training Institute (FESTI) in Mississauga, Ont.
At Training Day, career and volunteer firefighters from across Ontario and Quebec participated in one of seven
- Aircraft rescue
- Auto extrication
- Fire education and prevention programming
- Firefighter survival
- Forcible entry
- Live fire rescue
- Patient packaging and triage
Shane Peters, a firefighter with Frontenac Fire Rescue was at the event. Peters has attended Training Day three times, participating in firefighter survival, live fire rescue, and this year, fire education and prevention programming. He was very impressed with course instructors Tanya Bettridge and Samantha Hoffmann, who he said made pub ed exciting.
“It was a very informative program. I learned lots of information that I can take back to my department and help improve and better implement the fire education side of the fire service within our own community,” Peters said.
Training Day couldn’t have been possible without its sponsors, FESTI, Fort Garry Fire Trucks, Innotex, and FLIR. Some of our sponsors even got to put their fire fighting skills to the test on the training ground. Fort Garry’s Graeme Cross spent the day participating in auto extrication activities with FESTI instructor Randy Fleming.
Inside the main FESTI building, aspiring firefighters participated in Career Expo, where industry experts explained what the fire fighting industry is all about.
This year the event was divided into three streams: those who are considering a career in the fire service, firefighters in training, and those who want to secure a department job.
Brittany Noel recently completed the pre-service fire fighting program at Humber College and is in the process of completing stage one and two Ontario Fire Administration Inc., testing, and passing her CPAT. Once she has her credentials, she said she will be applying to departments.
She attended Firefighter Career Expo to receive more information about the process. She met fire service leaders from across the Greater Toronto Area, and was even interviewed on stage, which she said was a unique opportunity she couldn’t get anywhere else.
“I got to meet a lot of amazing people,” Noel said. “They gave me a lot of really great advice, not only on resumes but interviews, applying, different tips and stuff that I’ll definitely take away from this.”
One of the service leaders who spoke at Career Expo was FESTI’s own Dave Lane, deputy chief of training and development. He has been instrumental in hosting Training Day and Career Expo for the past five years.
Now that Firefighter Training Day and Career Expo 2017 is over, Lane is looking forward to next year’s event.
“Every year, I look forward to asking the question, and say, ‘what else can we do next year that will enhance it even more?’”