The College of New Caledonia is offering free tuition to two wildland firefighting courses at its Quesnel campus.
The college announced Aug. 22 that it would be waiving tuition for the courses, with registration opening on Aug. 28 and closing on Aug. 30. The courses will both take place Sept. 4-5 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Participants must wear work boots, and be able to carry 60 lbs up steep terrain.
There are approximately 14 spots open in each course.
Morgan Ross, the regional principal of the CNC campus in Quesnel, says it’s a college-wide initiative “to support northern communities during this time of crisis. We’ve got a lot of fires raging here and we want to make sure that we’re doing out part to help support those who are out there on the lines fighting the fires and protecting the communities.”
Ross says all of the CNC campuses in fire zones are offering the courses as well.
The courses, S100 and S185, Fire Suppression and Fire Entrapment, Avoidance and Safety, are intended to train those who help the firefighters on the front lines. For example, says Ross, people who go through the program could work on “mop-up crews, [or could be] those who might be looking at back fire lines or something like that.
“You need to have several layers of defence, the people who are out there trying to get these fires under control. The people who receive this training would be extremely valuable to freeing up possible front-line firefighters so that they could get out and more actively engage with the fire itself.”
One of the courses is primarily intended for first responders, like the RCMP, who may be responsible in evacuations, while the other is open to the general public, to give them the training to get employment when there’s an opportunity for work.
“Across the institution, we’re probably going to be able to put out over a hundred firefighters who can get out and make an immediate contribution to the effort to get the fires under control,” says Ross.
Anyone hoping to take part can register in person at the CNC Quesnel campus. Registration will not be accepted over the phone.