NIC student Nyna Elliott practices with a hose while instructor Tom Hedekar gives instructions in the background. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

NIC student Nyna Elliott practices with a hose while instructor Tom Hedekar gives instructions in the background. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

Port Alberni NIC students learn wildfire suppression

The two-day course emphasizes safety, survival

North Island College students took part in a wildfire training course in Port Alberni on Sunday.

The course, called S-100: Basic Fire Suppression Safety, is aimed at giving emergency firefighters adequate training to fight forest fires, as per WorkBC’s guidelines.

Instructor Tom Hedekar is a retired forestry instructor who was contracted for NIC to run the two-day course in Port Alberni. The first day featured classroom work and an exam. The second day was all fieldwork, most of which took place near Roger Creek.

“We’re working with pumps and hand tools,” said Hedekar. “There are simulated fire suppression activities that we would encounter in the real situation.”

NIC student Isaiah Taylor took the course because he was interested in gaining a job in the field.

“It’s been pretty fun,” he said. “Today was the most fun we had so far. You learn a lot of stuff, especially how to keep safe.”

The course is run anywhere and everywhere that there seems to be a need, according to Hedekar.

“The emphasis of the course is on survival and safety,” he said. “We’ve been fortunate in British Columbia. We have a very nice record to be proud of because we emphasize safety.”

elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com