Maintaing and upgrading skills is critical for members of Penticton Fire Rescue not only for regular firefighters but for auxiliaries as well.
Training takes in a wide range of disciplines including swift water rescue, often done at locations such as the headwaters of the Okanagan River Chanel and ice rescue in the winter where someone has fallen through the ice.
Read more: Swift water rescue training
Sessions are also held twice a week at the training grounds at the number two fire hall off Camrose Street.
Several built-in scenarios are in place and include actual structures which can be vented with smoke and where firefighters have to negotiate the rooms in almost complete darkness, locate and remove victims.
Similar rescues are also practiced using vehicles where extraction of the injured requires the use of the jaws of life rescue equipment, sometimes from a burning car.
A large, metal, multi-level structure is also in place where wood pallets and straw are set ablaze and firefighters must enter the building and extinguish it.
“This training is very important to make sure when there is a real emergency everyone is prepared and knows what to do,” said deputy chief Dave Spalding who oversees much of the program.