New Era Falling and Contracting is offering the S-100 (Basic Fire Suppression & Safety) and S-185 (Fire Entrapment Avoidance) courses, for those wanting to work as a wildland firefighter.

Recognized local program shares the skills you need to work fighting wildfires

Affordable rates and 100 Mile House setting lets you learn from experience

After years as a firefighter, working his way up from a BC unit crew member to supervisor, Gregg Archie understands the “how-to” of firefighting technique and safety.

Better yet, he can also teach it.

In addition to removing danger trees and fire-proofing properties through his New Era Falling and Contracting, Archie is a certified instructor of the S-100 (Basic Fire Suppression & Safety) and S-185 (Fire Entrapment Avoidance) courses.

Required certification for anyone who wants to work in Wildland Firefighting, either for the province or for private contractors, the program will also be of interest to potential volunteers and property owners, Archie says, pointing to both the information and practical, hands-on training the course provides. Everyone working on the firefighting crews, including medics and water tender operators, needs to have the courses.

In an effort to keep the courses affordable for all, Archie prices his courses at just $95, half that of some other companies. The next session is scheduled for this coming weekend, June 16 and 17, and additional courses will be added as needed; locations are also flexible, according to client needs.

What you’ll learn:

The course covers a wide variety of wildland firefighting basics, including creating fire breaks, constructing a minimal fire guard, the tools you’ll need and how to use them, heavy machinery and helicopter safety, crew safety and more.

Day 1 will be spent in the classroom, with Day 2 in the field for hands-on training, says Archie, who began firefighting in the 1990s.

“I started right where they are so I try to keep the classroom session interesting,” he says.

What you need to know:

The BC Wildfire Service recognizes Basic Fire Suppression and Safety (S-100) training only when delivered by a BC Wildfire Service-endorsed instructor, and only when the S-100 curriculum is delivered in the approved, two-day format.

Students of all ages (16 years and older) are welcome. This weekend’s courses run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Sarver’s Hangar at the 100 Mile House Airport.

Students will need their personal protection equipment, including hard-hat, steel-toed boots, gloves and high-visibility gear. First aid is an asset on the job, but not required for the course, Archie says.

“Just come ready to listen and have a willingness to learn,” he says, “And be sure to bring your questions – there’s lots of questions to be asked!”

To learn more, visit New Era Falling and Contracting online, or call 250-644-8849.

***

New Era Falling and Contracting provides dangerous tree removal and stump grinding services, tree topping, fire-proofing. They also provide firewood for campers in small bundles. “New Era Falling & Contracting puts your mind at ease – fully insured and fully certified, we stand by our work.”

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