Firefighters practice a positive pressure ventilation attack at a training session hosted by the Oliver Fire Department in early May. The session was attended by members from around the Fraser Valley Regional District

Firefighters practice a positive pressure ventilation attack at a training session hosted by the Oliver Fire Department in early May. The session was attended by members from around the Fraser Valley Regional District

Hemlock firefighters give up weekend for intense training

Hemlock Valley fire department practices rescue skills in Oliver

Marty McKinney

For the Observer

During the first weekend of May, firefighters from many of the southern B.C. volunteer fire departments participated in a weekend of body-punishing training sessions in Oliver, B.C., including Hemlock Valley.

Some drove in from Vancouver Island, and as far east as Fernie, which is an 8 hour drive.

These firefighters and officers usually give up days from their vacations to attend events like this and do it to support their communities.

The Oliver Fire Department hosts these training sessions every two years and the whole community gets involved in preparing and running this large event. Equipment from several of the surrounding area departments is also used so that all the Oliver trucks are not tied up in the event of an incident requiring a response from the department.

Just less than 400 volunteer firefighters and officers participated and a number of the members brought their wives along to join in the Saturday evening banquet and the Saturday afternoon wine tour and lunch put on just for them.

The meal was great and was supplied by the local Fire House Pub and Restaurant.

There were 24 training stations and each session was about an hour long, so getting through all of them was not possible. Each participant was assigned eight sessions for the two days.

They included manufacturers’ displays, driver training, firefighter health, ghost maze, Fire Fit,

RIT Challenge, forcible entry, pumpers, natural gas fires, auto stabilization, explosives, high pressure pumping, low angle rescue, foam pit, auto extrication, high angle rescue, fire extinguishers, hydraulic ventilation, positive pressure attack, swift water rescue, patient care, Fortis electrical safety, VEIS (Vent-Enter-Isolate-Search), and confined space rescue.

A number of manufacturers set up displays and sales booths in the arena to show off their equipment.

During the opening ceremony and speeches the mayor of Oliver was invited to press the button to drop a pick-up truck hanging from a crane into an old school bus and then blow them up with explosives.

Pictures can be seen on the Hemlock Valley Fire Department Facebook Page.

The FVRD Fire Departments were well represented with members from the Hemlock Valley,

Chilliwack River Valley, Columbia Valley, Boston Bar and Yale all sending members to the training.

Cultus Lake Fire Department also sent several of its members.

The weather cooperated by being cooler than it has been as it gets very warm while performing the exercises in full bunker gear.

By the end of the day my bunker jacket felt like it weighed a 100 pounds.

-Marty McKinney is the fire chief for the Hemlock Valley Fire Department.

Just Posted

A tenant walks in front of her home on Boundary Road on Friday, June 18, 2021 after it was destroyed by fire the night before in Chilliwack. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack family homeless after fire rips through house on Abbotsford border

Turtle rescued, no one seriously hurt following Boundary Road fire in Chilliwack

Wild rabbits are all over Chilliwack, but people often think they’re someone’s lost pet and try to ‘save’ them. But the owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room says good intentions can have bad consequences for wild animals. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room asks people to leave wild animals in the wild

Amber Quiring says people who think they’re helping are actually doing more harm than good

The Agassiz-Harrison Museum celebrates Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21 with special information about The Stó:lō Nation, culture, language and more. (Graphic/Agassiz-Harrison Museum)
Agassiz-Harrison Museum to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day

June 21 will feature info about local First Nations culture, language and more

Brandon Hobbs (turquoise shirt), brother of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs, gathers with other family and friends to distribute posters in Chilliwack on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Search efforts expand to Chilliwack and beyond for missing Abbotsford man

Family, friends put up posters in Chilliwack, Agassiz, Hope for missing 22-year-old Adam Hobbs

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Audrey Inouye (right) with her two sons Kiyoshi McMillan (left) and Kaito McMillian drop off her milk to hospital volunteer Sylvia Hendel at a human milk depot on October 11, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Fraser Health appeals for breast milk donations after unexplained drop in supply

Give your breast milk and save newborn lives, the health authority is encouraging mothers

The BC Ferries’ website is down for the second time in one week from what they say is likely an overwhelming increase in web traffic. (Black Press Media file photo)
Surging web traffic crashes BC Ferries’ site again

Website down for second time this week

John Furlong told the Vancouver Board of Trade on Feb. 20, 2020 that he thinks the city could and should bid for the 2030 Winter Games. (CP photo)
PODCAST: John Furlong lays out a ‘provincial’ B.C. plan to host the 2030 Winter Olympics

Podcast: Chat includes potential role for Vancouver Island communities

The pilot of this single-engine propeller plane was unhurt after crash-landing in a Como Road orchard Friday, June 18. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Plane crash lands into Grand Forks orchard, pilot injured

RCMP have secured the crash site, pending investigation by Transport Canada

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

BC Ferries’ newest Island Class vessel is experiencing an issue with one of its thrusters off the Algerian coast. Photo courtesy patbaywebcam.com.
BC Ferries newest vessel having mechanical issues in Mediterranean

Island 4 will be repaired in Spain before crossing Atlantic

Most Read