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Powell River city council approves grant to assist firefighters

Equipment will help in training with live-fire simulations
REUSABLE EQUIPMENT: Powell River Fire Rescue has been approved for a $21,905 grant to purchase a fire dynamics training prop/simulator to help firefighters train with live-fire simulations.

City of Powell River Council has approved a grant that will assist Powell River Fire Rescue in its training.

At the March 2 city council meeting, councillors voted unanimously to approve obtaining a Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) community emergency preparedness fund grant from the 2022 volunteer and composite fire department training and equipment program for the purchase of fire dynamics training prop/simulators, and that staff be directed to provide overall grant management.

Councillor Rob Southcott said the grant funding from UBCM is for a piece of training equipment that duplicates what has normally been constructed out of wood to allow firefighters to understand fire behaviour.

“This device is constructed out of stainless steel so it can be used over and over again instead of burning wood structures,” said Southcott. “It’s a really great investment.”

At the February 28 committee of the whole meeting, fire chief Terry Peters said the fire department had been successful in receiving the UBCM grant, being offered for volunteer and composite fire departments through the community emergency preparedness fund to purchase fire training equipment.

“This fund covers 100 per cent up to a maximum of $30,000 and we’ve received notification of the award in principle to purchase a fire dynamics training prop/simulator for a total proposed cost of $21,905,” said Peters. “This is a prop that our staff has asked for and we did some research on it. It will fit our needs for live fire simulations. It will also be utilized for live public education.”

Peters said to receive the grant, it requires a motion from city council to support the expenditure and confirming the ability to manage the grant funds. He said there will be no net effect on property taxes because this grant is 100 per cent fully funded.

Peters said he was asking that council support the application.

Councillor George Doubt said volunteer fire departments in qathet Regional District received grants from the community emergency preparedness fund for equipment. He asked Peters if the equipment was something that could be shared with the other departments.

Peters indicated that was the case.

“We play in the sandbox very well with the other departments,” added Peters.

Doubt said he appreciates being able to use other people’s money, and being able to share equipment with other departments is great.

According to a report from Peters to the committee, the training prop will assist with in-house training to teach fire behaviour and fire dynamics concepts. He stated that currently, the department builds similar one-time use props to demonstrate the same principles.