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Firefighters from Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland train in Qualicum Beach

Fifty-four members trained in Nozzle Forward program June 10 and June 11
Firefighters from around Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland were in Qualicum Beach this weekend for Nozzle Forward training. (Dashwood Volunteer Fire Department photo via Facebook)

Firefighters from across Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland were in Qualicum Beach during the weekend for some special training.

Fifty-four members trained in the Nozzle Forward program — a 22-hour program that took place over two days at the Qualicum Beach Fire Hall, delivered by lead instructor Aaron Fields, with the Seattle Fire Department.

The program covers fire behaviour, fire hose management and fire tack, according to Qualicum Beach Fire Chief Peter Cornell. Firefighters received lectures and hands-on training in how to operate a hose and flow water in different scenarios such as stairs and hallways.

Qualicum Beach has a fairly large training area outside the fire hall, Cornell added.

“That building is well laid out for this type of training. We have in-ground water supply, so we’re able to recycle some of the water that’s used for this training,” he said. “You require large amounts of water for the training, but you also want to make sure that we’re not abusing the water, so we actually have a storage capacity in the ground to be able to recycle some of the water.”

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Firefighters from Island departments in Dashwood, North Cowichan, Central Saanich, East Sooke, Port Alberni, Courtenay, Campbell River, Bow Horn Bay and Nanoose were joined by Burnaby and New Westminster fire department members.

“It’s a good opportunity to get different fire departments from volunteer to the larger career halls,” Cornell said. “A lot of learning takes place when you put that many diverse bodies together.”

Qualicum Beach has hosted four Nozzle Forward training sessions since 2018, with approximately 250 firefighters benefiting from the program, Cornell said.

He anticipated Qualicum Beach Fire Department would host again next May or June.

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Kevin Forsyth

About the Author: Kevin Forsyth

As a lifelong learner, I enjoy experiencing new cultures and traveled around the world before making Vancouver Island my home.
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