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B.C. government funds firefighter training hubs across the Kootenays

The B.C. government is providing funds to establish firefighter training hubs across the province, including all three Kootenay regional districts.

B.C. government officials said these regional training hubs will support firefighter skill building while reducing travel time and costs.

“Firefighters play a critical role in keeping people safe throughout our province and I have deep respect and admiration for the work they do every day,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “As communities in B.C. continue to grow, we are ensuring that firefighters have the resources they need to protect homes and businesses. These new training facilities will allow fire departments to enhance and develop the skillsets of their volunteer and staff firefighters to keep their communities safe.”

The Regional Districts of East, Central, and Kootenay Boundary will each get one of these training hubs.

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B.C. officials said live fire training allows firefighters to gain experience in a controlled environment.

“This may involve non-combustible structures with multiple floors and rooms, such as shipping containers (known as C-cans), motor vehicles and dumpsters, as well as gas meters,” said B.C. officials.

Officials said the training hubs will also save travel time and expenses.

“Access to nearby training sites is not available in some parts of the province, and getting this type of training for firefighters can mean long drives with high travel and other costs for local departments,” said the B.C. government. “By establishing regional training hubs, firefighters throughout the province will have more opportunities closer to home to maintain and improve their skills, enhancing their abilities to respond to fires.”

The B.C. government contributed $1.75 million to the Fire Chiefs’ Association of BC to help establish regional training hubs in the following locations:

  • Regional District of Central Kootenay
  • Regional District of East Kootenay
  • Regional District of Fraser Fort George
  • District of Kent
  • Regional District of Kootenay Boundary
  • Village of Pemberton
  • Town of Port McNeill
  • qathet Regional District (Powell River)
  • District of Vanderhoof
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