Live fire exercise teaches firefighting skills

About 40 volunteer firefighters took part in a live fire exercise put on with the assistance of Blackpool Fire Department

Jason Ficke of Barriere Fire Department uses a pike pole to hold up a dumpster lid while Blackpool firefighter Mike Langenhan extinguishes to fire inside.

About 40 volunteer firefighters from departments in Pritchard, Barriere, Little Fort, Blackpool, Vavenby and Blue River took part in a live fire exercise put on with the assistance of Blackpool Fire Department last Sunday.

McLure was the only North Thompson department that did not send representatives to the training.

Another contingent, made up of those who were working or who had to stay back to make sure their fire-halls had adequate personnel to deal with an emergency, took part in a practice held at Blackpool firehall on Wednesday evening.

Purpose of the exercises was to help the firefighters for their certifications, explained Blackpool deputy fire chief Mike Savage, who helped organize the event.

The participants practiced exterior and interior firefighting skills, including dumpster, vehicle, and Class A (solids such as paper, wood or plastic) fires.  They also learned about shutting down utilities such as fuel oil and propane tanks as well as emergency scene management.

Most of the exercise took place on a large paved area next to Blackpool firehall, with permission from owner Bruce Hanna.

Jager Garbage provided a large bin for the exercise, while Fleetwest, TNRD and Canfor contributed wood pallets and scrap ends for burning.

Inset photo: Blue River firefighter Sarah Mallasch stands ready with a charge hose-line.