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UBCM awards $90,000 to purchase Digital Fire System for District 69 fire departments

System to be coordinated by Qualicum Beach Fire Department
A sample of a digital fire system. (Submitted photo)

The Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) has awarded $90,000 to help fire departments in District 69 purchase a Digital Fire Training System.

The fire training system uses digital panels linked to a smoke generator to produce realistic simulations of flames, sounds and smoke. Each digital fire reacts to either a digital or water hose line, allowing for training where live fires are not possible and eliminating unnecessary health and environmental risk.

The Qualicum Beach Fire Department, Dashwood Fire Department and Coombs-Hilliers Volunteer Fire Department will share the system.

Coordinated by the Qualicum Beach Fire Department, on behalf of its Regional District of Nanaimo partners, the grant enables the departments to acquire an advanced training tool that will help firefighters be even more prepared when responding to emergencies.

“The Town of Qualicum Beach is grateful to UBCM for their generous support to our regional fire services,” said QBFD fire chief Peter Cornell. “This technology significantly advances the readiness of firefighters to respond effectively and efficiently to a fire event. It will be of huge benefit to us and our regional partners and provide local access to excellent training opportunities.”

The money is allocated from the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund grant from the Province of British Columbia.

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“This grant helps to ensure the best possible delivery of service to the citizens and visitors of our communities,” said Nick Acciavatti, fire chief for Dashwood Volunteer Fire Department. “Our regional collaboration on this project is a reflection of the great partnerships and agreements we have in place, and we are grateful to the UBCM for their ongoing support of this partnership.”

The portable unit also allows for a variety of fire locations in a single training session, increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of training opportunities.

“We appreciate the funding from UBCM and the opportunity to collaborate with our regional partners to secure this innovative training technology,” said Ron Schildroth, Community Fire Chief, Coombs-Hilliers Volunteer Fire Department. “Using the same training tools helps ensure that when we attend a mutual aid fire event, our firefighters can work together more effectively when delivering fire services in our communities.”

Parksville Fire Rescue was also awarded a $30,000 grant via the UBCM’s Community Emergency Preparedness Fund for volunteer and composite fire department equipment and training, according to a news release by the City of Parksville.

“This advanced technology will be instrumental for Parksville Fire Rescue as we strive to increase both the level and quality of service by our members to the community,” said Fire Chief Marc Norris. “We appreciate the support from UBCM which will significantly enhance our training.”

The Parksville department requested funding to provide an advanced digital fire training system intended to build on the department’s existing hands-on digital training system. The BullEx digital fire extinguisher panel and BullEx digital attack satellite panel funded through this grant, will provide a challenging yet safe and controlled environment to improve skills required to extinguish fires safely and effectively.

— NEWS Staff, submitted

About the Author: Parksville Qualicum Beach News Staff

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