The Sicamous Fire Department is banking on a grant to support training and buy equipment to help firefighters respond to wildfires.
At its Oct. 9 meeting, Sicamous council agreed to support the grant application to the Community Emergency Program Fund in order to help out the fire department.
Fire Chief Brett Ogino’s presentation to council stated the department will be seeking 100 per cent of the grant’s $25,000 maximum. The funds will be used to increase the Sicamous department’s capability to keep firefighters’ skills sharp with regular training. He said the grant will help pay for live burn props simulating a propane tank fire, a car fire and a dumpster fire. The department also plans to set up training props to teach firefighters to navigate dangling wiring in a building with a partially collapsed ceiling and to self rescue by breaching walls and escaping from windows in the event they become trapped.
Ogino said the fire department has cleared out an area at the rear of Sicamous’ public works yard to be used for training.
He said the ability to do regular live burn training will help keep the firefighters’ skills polished without having to travel to the fire training centre in Salmon Arm. New firefighters often have to travel for training courses but Ogino said opportunities to send the more experienced members of the department away for refreshers are sometimes scarce so being able to do live burns regularly in Sicamous will be helpful.
Along with the gear for training, the grant will help the department buy a wild-land firefighting pump and associated equipment.
Ogino said Sicamous council is enthusiastic about the possibility of getting the gear through a grant and not having to pay for it with funds from taxpayers.