Fire department victories include above-par training and $1-million ladder truck
The Castlegar Fire Department is enjoying a steak of wins lately, with eight firefighters achieving international accreditation, one captain receiving a medal and council moving forward on a new ladder truck for the department.
At its regular meeting Monday evening, council congratulated department members who have recently achieved National Fire Prevention Association Level 2 training, accreditation which is internationally recognized. Requiring two-and-a-half years of volunteer time, the accreditation includes not just firefighting but also Hazmat hazardous materials and first responder medical training.
Fire chief Gerry Rempel noted that firefighter Kara Lariviere graduated with one of the highest marks in the course. The other female graduate, Laura Monsen, has a familiar-sounding name – she’s the daughter of proud Papa Dwayne Monsen, deputy fire chief.
“I’m pretty proud of these guys, and women,” said Rempel, adding fully 17 members of his department are now certified to NFPA Level 1/2 standards, with only eight more left to complete the training. “It is my pleasure and certainly my honour to work with these men and women.”
Mayor Lawrence Chernoff seconded that sentiment, “We’re extremely proud of all of you – of what you do for our community and your commitment to our community.”
At the same meeting, CFD Cpt. Jim Postnikoff was awarded a BC Fire Services medal for 25 years of service.
The following evening saw the city’s budget open house, in which one of the biggest-ticket line items is a $1-million new ladder truck for the department – an important development for a variety of reasons. First, the current engine is nearing the end of its life and needs to be replaces. Secondly, without the ladder truck, no developers can build structures of four or more stories – the new truck will mean greater economic opportunity as well as reducing urban sprawl by allowing planners to build upward instead of outward. Finally, the new truck will enhance the physical safety of residents, as it can be used for a variety of purposes, including rescuing people trapped down steep embankments. The budget has not yet been approved, but if passed as-is will see the new truck in town in 2016.
The members recognized Monday evening are: Cpt. Jim Postnikoff, Lt. Carlos Amaral, Lt. Nick Ahlefeld, FF Kara Lariviere, FF Brendon Oglow, FF Laura Monsen, FF Sid Floyd, FF Jordan Croteau (Level 1 only, will have Level 2 by the end of May), and FF Kelly Schultz.