If you’re a grade 12 student the Cariboo Fire Centre wants to hear from you.
The Fire Centre will be hosting three information sessions for Grade 12 students interested in participating in the Junior Fire Crew Program during the 2020 fire season.
Wildfire technician Eric Kopetski has been involved in the program for the last six years that provides training for students to get all of the certifications and skills required to become a wildland firefighter.
“It’s definitely a highlight of my job and of the year to see new people come in, and start to develop an interest in firefighting and also to see people who have gone through the program go on to do whatever they want to do with their lives whether it’s making a career out of firefighting, going to school, traveling, working in the winters, or going on to find out a different profession,” Kopetski said.
“I don’t know if it was around when I was in grade 12 but I wish it was because it’s such a great program and has had such a huge impact on our organization and definitely had a big impact on the kids that have gone through it.”
Students interested in applying for the Program in 100 Mile House or Williams Lake must attend one of two sessions taking place next week in order to be considered.
At the end of the program, some students will be offered jobs working on a BC Wildfire Service fire crew for two to four months next summer.
“School District 27/28 has a really big role to play,” Kopetski said. “They’re our partners in it and they help with the selection of students and provide the venue to do the training, and we work in partnership with the career education programs that they have there. Part of what we offer is work experience for students in grade 12 as well as training that the school does provide such as first-aid, WHMIS, resume prep, and interview prep as well.”
The Junior Fire Crew Program has been in operation in 100 Mile House, Williams Lake, and Quesnel for almost 20 years. It usually accepts 16 students from each community, with between five and eight students hired by BC Wildfire Service in Williams Lake, two in 100 Mile Hosue, and two in Quesnel.
Students who wish to apply for the Junior Fire Crew Program must be accompanied by a parent or guardian when attending one of the following meetings:
100 Mile House
• Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 7 pm at Peter Skene Ogden Secondary
• Wednesday, Oct. 30 at 7 pm at Lake City Secondary
• Wednesday, Oct. 30 at 7 pm at Correlieu Secondary School
• Attendance at this information session is not required for students who want to apply for the Junior Fire Crew Program in Quesnel, but it is strongly encouraged.