Five members of Burns Lake Volunteer Fire Department received their NFPA FF2 Certification. FSA Keith Stecko and Fire Chief Rob Krause presented the certificates to Jason Blackwell, Jason Berlin, Kris Garneau, Dirk Hofer and Eric Williams at a ceremony held before family and friends.This achievement represents the highest level of training for firefighters in North America. (Submitted photo/Lakes District News)

Five members of Burns Lake Volunteer Fire Department received their NFPA FF2 Certification. FSA Keith Stecko and Fire Chief Rob Krause presented the certificates to Jason Blackwell, Jason Berlin, Kris Garneau, Dirk Hofer and Eric Williams at a ceremony held before family and friends.This achievement represents the highest level of training for firefighters in North America. (Submitted photo/Lakes District News)

Five Burns Lake Firefighters secure highest level of certification

End of the year to see six more members achieve this level of training

Burns Lake Fire Rescue department celebrated the certification of five of its members, to the highest training level possible in North America.

On June 20, FSA Keith Stecko and Fire Chief Rob Krause presented certificates to Jason Blackwell, Jason Berlin, Kris Garneau, Dirk Hofer and Eric Williams at a ceremony held before family and friends, to celebrate achieving the highest level of training for firefighters in North America.

“These members are now certified to the NFPA FF2 standard. (National Fire Protection Association Firefighter 2). This is the highest level of certification available in North America and is recognized across Canada and in the US,” said Krause. “It can take five years, or more, for a volunteer to achieve this level, unless they go away to school. The program includes written and practical testing on over 30 subjects and skills related to all aspects of structural and wildland firefighting, emergency medical care, motor vehicle incidents and Hazmat.”

Krause added that Burns Lake Fire Rescue is a “Full Service” fire department, which means they respond to a wide range of emergencies in the community. These latest additions will bring the fire department’s total number of members trained to this standard to nine. An additional six members will receive their certification by the end of this year.

This training ensures that the department gets the highest trained, professional, firefighting force available to provide services to the community.

“I am so very proud of all our dedicated men and women who give so much time to help our community when it is needed. Their level of dedication and commitment is an inspiration,” said Krause.

The department currently has 29 members, 15 of whom have completed their training, as well as an additional 14 who are at various levels in working towards completion.

According to Krause, the department has continued to be very busy, with call volumes up substantially over previous years. To date the Burns Lake Fire Rescue has responded to 105 calls this year, up from 65 for the same period last year.