Wanted: training centre for newly minted Skidegate fire crew

  • May. 26, 2015 8:00 a.m.

By Stacey MarpleHaida Gwaii ObserverSkidegate volunteer firefighters have been hard at work the past nine months. Under the guidance of the new fire chief  Kyle Marshall, the fire crew has all been trained as basic fire fighters. Nine out of the 13 members have first responder training, which is a level above the Level 3 first aid. The fire department is working on a few details, till the trained first responders in the department can legally respond to calls. At this point, There is no place in Skidegate for the members to practice on a live fire. Mr. Marshall told the Observer that the Thornhill fire department out of Terrace has extended an invitation to the members of Skidegate to go to Terrace and train with them. But the team is unable to accept the invitation due to a shortfall of funds. The team hold bottle drives to earn money for extra training and necessary equipment. The funds needed to send members of the team off island for training is not available. The Skidegate Volunteer Firefighters are working on getting their own live training center in Skidegate. “We hope to get some sea-cans and set up a live training center soon,” Mr. Marshall said. With all the training that the men and women of the department have in the past few years, they are ready to save lives. A simple confidence drill requires the members of the team to dress in full gear along with a  self contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). “The SCBAs weigh over 50 pounds when filled and give us about 30 minutes of oxygen.” After dressing in full gear the firefighters then have to perform normal emergency procedures. Running with hoses along with tying knots in the large gloves while on oxygen give the participants a chance to feel what it is like, to work up a sweat and learn how to work in the essential gear for firefighting.

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