The two firefighters have received their level one and two firefighting certification. Photo: Castlegar Fire Department

Two Castlegar firefighters honoured with nationally-recognized certification

David Blancher and Bart Fyffe have been working for at least three years to achieve certification

Two members of the Castlegar Fire Department (CFD) are being rewarded for their dedication and hard work.

David Blancher and Bart Fyffe have officially received their level one and two firefighting certification from the College of the Rockies.

The duo have been training for at least three years and have taken over 30 exams from a Canadian Fundamentals of Fire Fighter Skills textbook to achieve their certification. Two big certification tests were also completed during the process.

“We as firefighters have to meet a certain standard. We can’t just have a few shiny fire trucks in our hall and say we’re a fire department,” said CFD fire chief Sam Lattanzio.

“If we were ever audited, we need to be able to show that our members are being trained appropriately, are being trained up to speed and have the necessary certification behind them.”

Multiple skills were taught to the firefighters during the certification process, according to Lattanzio.

“These firefighters learned how to maintain their confidence and work together as a team during emergencies,” said Lattanzio.

”Making critical decisions in a time-crunch scenario and performing them in a safe manner were other skills taught to them.”

Fire suppression tactics, operating machinery and rescuing people from fires were other skills learned.

The firefighters still have to be trained to operate a new $750,000 fire engine, which is set to be delivered to the CFD in the near future.

Despite the certifications, Lattanzio said the two firefighters will still have keep learning and training as they continue on in their firefighting careers.

Of the 32 firefighters at the CFD, ten are currently in the process of getting their level one and two firefighting certifications.

The College of the Rockies is one of many accredited institutions that offer the firefighting certification in Canada.

READ MORE: RDCK fitness centres in Castlegar, Creston and Nelson reopen at end of month


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