New fire training facility holds grand opening

The new Burns Lake fire training facility held its grand opening on May 27, with simulated firefighting exercises and a barbecue.

Located north of the village and just off Babine Lake Rd, the two-story structure is owned by the Burns Lake Fire Training Society (BLFTS), which also owns the land.

“It’s used for practicing all of the skills that we need in order to fight a structural fire,” Burns Lake Fire Chief Rob Krause told Lakes District News. “It’s capable of doing live fire evolution so we can light a fire inside the building, let it build up heat and smoke and we can send crews in to actually battle a fire inside the structure to simulate what we can see in a house fire.”

Once a fire is lit inside the container on the steel burn pan and with paper and wood pallets, temperatures can go as high as 800C.

The facility was built so that local firefighters can train in Burns Lake without incurring the time and financial costs of being sent out of town for training.

“All of my firefighters are volunteers so to send them out of town to do this kind of training – first of all they have to get permission from their employer and then they have to take time off of work. There’s the cost of sending them somewhere. I sent two people up to Peace River to a similar facility to this one for a four-day course. It cost me $6,000,” Krause explained.

“There’s three training levels in B.C. We train to the highest level which is full service. Everything up to full service can be done in this facility. There’s only one specialty that we still will have to send out for – hazmat. This facility isn’t capable of doing that.”

The structure isn’t used for training during the winter because very low temperatures outside, combined with the burning temperatures inside can crack the concrete, which lines the interior of the container.

Firefighters can also use the dirt field around the structure to simulate automobile accident situations involving people trapped inside vehicles.

“We can practice rope rescue and retrieval,” Krause said.

For one of the demonstrations, and using a smoke machine, Burns Lake firefighters showed how to circulate fresh air into a smoke-filled room by spraying water.

If only one door is opened, smoke tends to go out and then get sucked back in, as volunteer firefighter captain Brian Brinkhurst said.

“As we’re spraying it pushed smoke from inside the building out so when the door opened it’s replaced with fresh air.”

The firefighters also performed rescues from the second-floor window with a ladder and ropes.

The total cost of the construction and site preparation for the facility came to about $135,000 which was sourced with grants from the Burns Lake Community Forest, the Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund, Coastal Gas Link, the Village of Burns Lake, and others.

At the end of the event, Burns Lake village councillor Henry Wiebe presented Brinkhurst with the 2019 Community Leadership Award for Social Responsibility.

Brinkhurst, as Krause explained has for several years been the key mover behind the facility project he helped raise more than $118,000 towards it.


Blair McBride
Multimedia reporter
Send Blair an email
Like Lakes District News on Facebook

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Burns Lake village councillor Henry Wiebe (L) presents volunteer firefighter captain Brian Brinkhurst (R) with the 2019 Community Leadership Award for Social Responsibility. Brinkhurst helped lead the fundraising effort for the training facility. (Blair McBride photo)

Just Posted

Four air ambulance flights out of Terrace delayed or cancelled

Pandemic precautions caused nighttime closure of service station providing weather data to pilots

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Overall house sales drop in the northwest

COVID-19 pandemic slowed market activity

B.C. orders Coastal GasLink to stop pipeline construction near protected wetlands

The 670-kilometre pipeline is planned to transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Northern B.C. First Nations call for reversal of grizzly bear hunting ban

Growing grizzly populations have led to fewer ungulates and increased fear of attacks says Chad Day

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Cowichan Valley has the honour of being the first sub-GI outside of the Okanagan

Most Read