New firefighting standards introduced

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Firefighters across the province will soon have required training standards, addressing several recommendations from a 2009 public safety report.

“This is a significant step forward in establishing standardized service levels and training for all fire departments in the province,” explained Comox Fire Chief Gord Schreiner.

“For many departments, there will be little to no impact as many of us are already training to these standards.”

Schreiner added for small departments, their communities will have to consider what level of service they need and are capable of supporting.

“I expect some of the smaller fire departments might be looking for creative solutions to meet the middle standard but funding will play a role in this for them.”

Known as the ‘Playbook,’ the new training standards sets out the fire department service level options for local governments as well as training standards for firefighters in B.C.

They are based on the National Fire Protection Association firefighter training standard, but Schreiner added there will be no upgrades to the National Fire Protection Association Firefighter standard, which has been in place for numerous years and is recognized around North America.

“In Comox we have met and exceeded the new standards for many years as we have always had a very high level of training.”