The Penticton Indian Band Volunteer Fire Department will be going head to head against some of the best First Nations firefighters in B.C. this weekend.
Last month, the PIB firefighters took first place in a regional competition, earning them the right to compete in the provincials, which are being hosted by the Penticton Indian Band on Saturday.
This is only the second competition the local department has taken part in, with the other taking place a few years ago. But when the First Nations Emergency Services Society asked the band if they would host the Provincial Fire Fighting Competition for First Nations communities, they wanted to be a part of it.
However, just being the host nation didn’t earn the local crew a bye into the competition. According to Tabitha Eneas, who is handling the local organizing for the band, the fire department assembled a team.
“They trained their little hearts out,” she said.
That training took them to the regional competition in Lillooet on June 11, where they finished 40 points ahead of their nearest rival, taking top honours among the four teams competing.
This time, the PIB firefighters will be up against about 60 participants from 10 First Nations throughout the province. They will be competing in events such as hose rolling, SCBA relay, standard hose lay, combination relay, bucket target relay and other events based on skills needed by firefighters.
The first place finishers earn the right to go on to the national competition in August, taking place in Moncton, N.B.
“The PIB is extremely excited to showcase the community as well as the hard work and dedication of the Penticton Indian Band Fire Department, which consists of volunteers from the community,” according to the band’s press release.
Saturday’s competition will take place on the PIB community ballpark off Green Mountain Road, starting at 9 a.m. The public is invite to take part in the festivities and cheer on the firefighters.