Steve Hoodicoff of the Robson Volunteer Fire Department was one of four firefighters to successfully complete a mayday course.

Robson firefighter one of four to complete mayday training

Steve Hoodicoff was one of the four BC firefighters to successfully complete survival training at a training camp earlier this year.

A Robson firefighter was one of the four BC firefighters to successfully complete survival training at a training camp earlier this year.

Steve Hoodicoff, who has been with the Robson Volunteer Fire Department for about 10.5 years, successfully completed a mayday course put on by Canwest Fire Services in Osoyoos this past April. Out of 95 firefighters who ran the maze, only four, including Hoodicoff, successfully completed it.

The course had firefighters make their way through an obstacle course in teams of two— the Firefighter’s Ghost survival maze designed by Ed Brouwer, chief instructor for Canwest Fire Services. The maze tests whether or not a firefighter knows when to call a mayday and have other firefighters provide assistance.

“A mayday course is designed for firefighters that are in a building and they get trapped or they are in trouble of any sort. So say if we go into this building here and we’re doing a building search and it’s smokey, it’s dark, we get lost because we don’t know where we are, we do what’s called a mayday,” explained Hoodicoff. “So we call ‘Mayday, mayday, mayday’ on the radio, announcing that we are in trouble we’re either injured, we’re out of air, we’re just disoriented or the conditions have changed inside the building. What this course was designed to do is test your skills for when you get into trouble and how you actually handle yourself in a mayday.”

In the Firefighter’s Ghost maze firefighters encounter a number of problems: the hose they’re following out of the building suddenly disappears underneath debris, their air runs out, they get snagged and can’t move, and they fall through the floor. Successfully completing the training does not necessarily mean making it all the way through the maze; it means recognizing when to call a mayday and get help.

In a press release sent out by the Regional District of Central Kootenay, Brouwer said that the Robson Volunteer Fire Departmen’t training program was reflected by Hoodicoff’s performance.

“This is a very positive reflection on the departments’ commitment to firefighter safety,” said Brouwer.

Hoodicoff attributes his success to the training he’s received through his department.

“There’s a level of firefighting called NFPA 1001 Level 1, Level 2 and we’ve trained up to that same standard, and that NFPA 1001 Level 1, Level 2 is the same type of training that if a firefighter wanted to be in a career fire department in a big city like Vancouver, they train to that, and we do as well,” said Hoodicoff.

The department trains every Tuesday, learning different chapters of the ESA Manual, a text book for firefighters. They also practice safety drills where they deal with the same kind of scenarios Hoodicoff encountered in the survival maze.

 

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Castlegar grads on parade

Stanley Humphries Secondary School celebrated grad last weekend.

Commercial truck caught dumping waste into river near Trail

Greater Trail RCMP report the company owner has been identified

Teck will continue to fight U.S. judgement

U.S. Supreme Court denied hearing Teck’s appeal last week

Castlegar residents encouraged to water smarter

Water Smart Ambassador will come to your home for a free assessment.

Greens choose Rosslander to represent them in next federal election

Tara Howse is the former chair of Rossland’s Sustainability Commission

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

Girl, 10, poisoned by carbon monoxide at B.C. campsite could soon return home

Lucille Beaurain died and daughter Micaela Walton, 10, was rushed to B.C. Children’s Hospital on May 18

30 years later: B.C. woman uses sidewalk chalk to reclaim site of her sexual assault

Vancouver woman didn’t think her powerful story, written in chalk, would ignite such support

Slain friend motivates rookie football player to make it with hometown B.C. Lions

Jaylen Sandhu, stabbed to death in 2014, a source of inspiration for promising RB Jamel Lyles

Home care for B.C.’s elderly is too expensive and falls short: watchdog

Report says seniors must pay $8,800 a year for daily visits under provincial home support program

B.C. ‘struggling’ to meet needs of vulnerable youth in contracted care: auditor

Auditor general says youth in contracted residential services may not be getting support they need

Pair of B.C. cities crack Ashley Madison’s ‘Infidelity Hotlist’

Data from the website reveals Abbotsford and Kelowna hottest spots for cheaters

Cranbrook RCMP seek help finding missing man

Jeffrey Edward Burns was last seen on the evening of Sunday, June 16.

Life’s work of talented B.C. sculptor leads to leukemia

Former Salmon Arm resident warns of dangers of chemical contact

Most Read