North America’s first wildfire fighting training, education centre is coming to TRU | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

Would you like to subscribe to our newsletter?

Kamloops News

North America’s first wildfire fighting training, education centre is coming to TRU

Premier David Eby at a press event at Thompson Rivers University, April, 4, 2024.

There's going to be a first-of-its-kind program to train future wildfire fighters at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops.

The provincial government announced Thompson Rivers University is going to offer wildfire degree programs and research along with emergency management disciplines to give the next generation of firefighters a leg up during times of crisis, according to a press release.

“Last summer, British Columbians endured the worst wildfire season our province has ever seen, and we only got through it thanks to the heroic efforts of our brave firefighters,” Premier David Eby said in the release. “Our government is taking action to ensure we are better prepared for future climate emergencies, and that starts by developing and supporting our teams of first responders. By establishing the first-of-its-kind wildfire training and education centre in North America, we are preparing our future wildfire professionals for the critical work of protecting our forests, our communities and our families in a rapidly changing climate.”

The program design is starting this year, and intake for the program is going to begin in 2025 using existing facilities. There are plans to build a new facility for wildfire training.

This centre is part of the premier’s expert task force’s 31 recommendations which included; enhancing the use of predictive fire technology, strengthening local response coordination, and expanding wildfire training and prevention programs. 

“We have some of the most skilled, professional and dedicated teams of wildland firefighters in the world. Through this first-of-its-kind centre in North America, we are taking action to grow our local contingent of wildland firefighters, provide them with cutting-edge science and technology, and support their long-term career development in B.C.,” minister of forests Bruce Ralston said in the release.

The goal is to have more than 1,000 workshops and 10,000 course registrations by the 2028-2029 school year. The program is going to be initially funded through BC Wildfire Service's enhanced training resources budget. 

The new training program is going to go with TRU’s existing Institute for Wildfire Science, Adaptation and Resiliency which opened in October 2023.

“Being part of a broader, collaborative effort with the BC Wildfire Service is a great honour and we look forward to working side by side on initiatives that contribute to building a safer, more resilient future for our communities,” president and vice-chancellor of TRU Brett Fairbairn said. “This partnership reinforces TRU’s commitment to leading world-class research, training and innovation to improve how British Columbians adapt to living with wildfires.”

Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir, Tk?emlúps te Secwépemc, was part of the premier’s task force and said it’s important that this centre is being built promptly.

“We need to build capacity to address climate change and emergency preparedness, so it gives me great pride in knowing that TRU and the province are advancing this by providing educational and training programs to take on roles in emergency management, here within the hub of Secwepemcúlecw. I am really proud to have been part of the premier’s task force along with an incredible team that collectively shared experiences to help shape the recommendations brought forth and, equally, seeing some immediate implementation,” Casimir said.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jesse Tomas or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. SUBSCRIBE to our awesome newsletter here.

News from © iNFOnews, 2024

  • Popular vernon News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile