Training grounds will save Golden firefighters money

Each week, Golden Fire Rescue trains at the firehall, running mock scenarios and building on their skills to extinguish fires, rescue trapped vehicle occupants, and more.

On August 15, a plume of smoke rose from 11th Avenue S. At the source, the fire department was busy dousing a car in the training grounds.

In June, council authorized the purchase and installation of three concrete pads and three sea cans for a total of $20,000. Golden Fire Rescue cancelled the purchase of turn out gear racks, and redirected the capital funds of $16,500 from that and approved an increase of $3,500 for the new purchases and installation, funded by the Equipment Capital Reserve.

“Once the paving is done we can move the sea cans in,” said Golden Fire Rescue deputy Chief Mike Pecora.

A lot of the money going into the upgraded training ground has been raised by Golden Fire Association members, who have also been contributing to a lot of the labour. Many firefighters at the fire hall are trained to operate equipment and complete construction.

“It’s summertime, the boys are working their butts off,” Pecora said.

New props being installed at the fire hall include an auto extrication area, dumpsters, three propane fire props, and sea cans set up for running smoke scenarios, search and rescue, forceable entry, and rapid intervention training. Golden Fire Association still needs to pave the area where the sea cans will be installed, and build in plumbing.

The sea can section will incorporate all of the level one qualifications for Golden Fire Rescue members, as well as most level two drills. The sea cans will not be used for live burning.

The upgrades at the fire hall means members will be able to receive more certifications in house and locally, and will help paramedics and RCMP as well. The training grounds will save the department money because it won’t have to send members away for training, which they typically do in Salmon Arm or Maple Ridge.

The additions to the training ground is expected to pay for itself in two years.

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