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North Island College offers wildfire training

North Island College’s Wildfire Training program is returning to Campbell River and Port Alberni, starting in March.

This free, four-week skills training will prepare students to work on wildfire fighting crews in B.C. and Alberta.

The program runs from March 1–30 in Campbell River and Port Alberni.

“From important safety training to the technical aspects of how fires are suppressed, we cover how to use hand tools and power pumps, along with information about air support from helicopters and air tankers,” said NIC wildfire instructor Henry Grierson.

Course certifications also include radio training and WHMIS.

“This is one of the easiest ways to get industry certifications and qualifications you need to start working this summer,” Grierson said.

Teamwork will also be a major focus.

“One of the most important aspects of wildfire fighting is being able to work as a team and take direction. Wildfire fighting is very goal oriented – you’re all working to get the fire out. You need to be comfortable working as a part of a team, and following direction.”

Grierson notes that fire seasons can be unpredictable, which is why it’s important to have crews trained and ready to go.

The work is hard, but rewarding.

“It’s a good job for people who enjoy the adrenaline rush, for those who like to travel and who enjoy working as part of a team. It’s the kind of work that if you like it, you’ll love it.”

Applications for the March training are open now.

Visit www.nic.bc.ca/wildfire for details.