Cherry Creek Fire Dept. Chief Mike Sparrow congratulates Rick Adams and Svetlana Zaytseva for earning the BC Hydro Community Safety Award.

Firefighters earn BC Hydro grant for unique fire training

Grant enabled Zaytseva to upgrade her firefighting training.

A Cherry Creek Fire Department volunteer firefighter got the chance to upgrade her training thanks to a BC Hydro grant.

Svetlana Zaytseva, 22, was able to take Instant Command Systems (ICS) 400 thanks to the BC Hydro Community Safety Award. The funding she received from the award was enough for fellow CCFD volunteer firefighter Rick Adams to also take the course.

The course, which is offered through the Justice Institute of Canada in New Westminister, teaches firefighters how to take control in extemely chaotic situations. It’s the most senior ICS course and is suitable for fire scenes at events as large scale as the Olympics or as devastating as a tsunami.

“It’s on how to command a scene, it’s designed for big incidents,” said Cherrry Creek Fire Department fire Chief Mike Sparrow.

While Olympic level events don’t tend to happen around the Alberni Valley, much of the city is considered a tsunami inundation zone.

“We can run a big scene now, a big disaster, we know all the protocols that go behind it,” Sparrow said, adding that the fire department now has four firefighters trained to that level. Those protocols come via the Emergency Management Response System.

“What it does is prioritize what they think is important to the area” should a major disaster occur.

“It goes through health and safety of the first responders, of the people there and then into infrastructure such as water, sewer, hydro, cell phone towers and then it goes all the way down to personal property as the lowest part of the list.”

The system is in place to make sure that firefighters prioritize the larger picture, such as keeping the town running and communication lines open, over personal property which is more easily replaced.

The course tested Zaytseva’s and Adam’s knowledge of the system by creating practice scenarios.

“There was a large earthquake, multiple gas leaks and flooding… it was good,” said Adams.

“We had to prioritize which incident we would go to first, where to send resources and establish command,” said Zaytseva.

That’s a scenario akin to what might happen here if a major tsunami were to strike and rare as events like that are, Zaytseva is glad to be prepared.

“They don’t happen often, the large incidents, but when they do happen not many people know what to do.”

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

twitter.com/alberninews

Just Posted

Air quality advisory issued for Port Alberni

Opening burning restrictions are now in effect for the Alberni Valley

Alberni Armada senior boys lose heartbreaker at North Island hoop finals

Basketball team goes 0-2 in North Island championship

Alberni Armada senior girls basketball team finishes fourth on Island

Two Armada players selected for Island All-Star Game

Alberni Armada boys crowned Island wrestling champs for 19th consecutive year

Alberni wrestlers bring home hardware from Islands, prep for B.C.’s at home

City of Port Alberni sticks to three percent

City council has proposed an annual increase of three percent for residential taxpayers

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

BC Wine Institute to take legal action against Alberta

The BC Wine Institute to seek injunction to protect B.C. wineries from Alberta wine ban

BC BUDGET: Tobacco tax hike may light up black market in smokes

NDP government adds another 56 cents per pack as of April 1

4 treatment centres to open in memory of B.C. teen who died of an overdose

A treatment centre for addictions is opening in Penticton after the first one fell through

Snow in the forecast for Vancouver Island

Environment Canada is calling for up to four centimetres of snow to fall Wednesday

BCHL Today: Merritt peaking at right time and Taylor signs with UNH Wildcats

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Video: B.C. firefighters featured in quirky video

Oliver Fire Department posts video about their B.C. volunteer firefighter spring training seminar

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Two more medals push Canada into third place

A gold in ski cross and a bronze in bobsleigh as men’s hockey advances to the semis

Most Read