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Big White fire department training

by - Story: 44779

The Big White Fire Department is offering valuable on-the-job training for Okanagan residents wanting to be career fire fighters.

The department has always offered a work experience program at it's hall, but deputy chief, Jamie Svendsen, says he rarely gets applications from the Okanagan or even B.C.

"I want to get local guys and make sure they are aware of it,"
Svendsen says. "It's an awesome opportunity to gain confidence in your skills. We offer a variety of certification programs up there but really it's about gaining confidence in driving the apparatus and doing incident command."

Each June, the department chooses six young recruits who have finished their National Fire Protection Association firefighter level one and two courses.

They live at the fire hall and use the summer down-time to train before the busy winter season.

It's only a 10-month program with little chance of being hired full time, but Svendsen says recruits who complete the program stand a far better chance of being hired elsewhere.

"It's good to have on a resume," he says. "It's an opportunity to live, eat and breathe fire for 10 months. Plus, you get to live at Big White."

The advantage for the department is having on-call firefighters to complement the four career officers and 16 volunteers on staff.

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