Port Hardy Fire Rescue (PHFR), with participation from the BC Wildfire Service, conducted a controlled burn of an acquired structure (the old Port Hardy Baptist church) and vegetation for the purposes of firefighter training.
Burning activities were reviewed by the BC Ministry of Environment, District of Port Hardy, and BC Wildfire Service, and the activities were in compliance with applicable municipal and provincial laws and regulations.
The burning activities proposed a unique training opportunity for PHFR, the BC Wildfire Service, and the other North Island fire departments.
The burning activities included nondestructive training fire scenarios on the Saturday, enabling firefighters to practice skills related to interior fire suppression, while destructive burning on Sunday focused on techniques of “big fire, big water” as well as forest exposure protection using sprinklers and hose lays.
The controlled burn of the old Baptist church ended up being a huge success for the fire department.
A message from PHFR information officer Adam Harding
It goes without saying that this weekend we launched our community fire department forward by leaps and bounds.
We had a full complement of over 30 fully-qualified interior firefighters ready to take on any structure fire that can be thrown our way.
We are so incredibly grateful to the Port Hardy Baptist Church for donating this structure to us, which for the last six months has been used intensively for training by every department on the North Island.
Over 1,800 volunteer training hours have been undertaken at this building, including three weekend-long accredited training courses, all to improve the service our departments offer to the citizens of the North Island…
A huge thank you to everyone who brought this project together over the last six months. First and foremost to the Port Hardy Baptist Church, who originally approached us last fall with an offer to donate the building for training.
To Prepare4 / Rescue, our highly-skilled and professional trainers who delivered to us three separate courses in this building, undoubtedly and single-handedly bettering the professional abilities of the North Island departments.
To the District of Port Hardy for supporting us in this endeavour and helping us make this project happen.
To the BC Wildfire Service for their participation, cross-training, and forest protection skills and who helped from the get-go to make this happen.
To Port Hardy Bulldozing Ltd for provision of heavy equipment to control the fire today and ensure a clean burn.
To Aries Security for helping with scene security today during the burn.
To BC Emergency Health Services for having our backs and keeping us rehabilitated all weekend.
To Associated Fire Safety Group for lending us cutting edge training equipment including thermal imaging cameras and fire simulator panels to improve the realism of our training.
To Save-On-Foods for keeping our hardworking firefighters fed.
To the incredible spouses and partners of our volunteers who repeatedly support our firefighters with giving up weekends to train, and who helped run food and coffee to the scene this whole weekend.
To kph photography and her incredible skills for capturing today’s action as only she can.
To the neighbourhood (Elk Drive) for putting up with our loud and smoky shenanigans.
A special mention to Hyde Creek Volunteer Fire Department for participating this weekend and sharing the training opportunity.
And lastly, to our own firefighters and professional volunteers who donated more than 1,800 training hours, plus countless behind the scenes administration and preparation hours over the last six months at this training site to keep our community safe.
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