Here’s something you don’t see very often — a City Councillor, in this case Phil Welock, getting put through the paces by firefighters.
“In September of this year Revelstoke Firefighters Local 1746 had the pleasure of hosting Councillor Phil Welock at Fire Ops 101 held at the Vancouver Firefighters Training Centre,” Jim Blake, secretary treasurer of Revelstoke Professional Firefighters Local 1746.
He said in a statement that the event is held every two years in conjunction with the Union of BC Municipalities Conference.
“It is intended to give city managers and elected officials a chance to experience firsthand some of the tasks a firefighter may be called on to perform as part of their job. In doing so, the ultimate goal is to foster better relations between City Councils and their fire departments.”
As in the past, this year’s three-hour program consisted of a series of stations that each participant completed. Under the watchful eye of Vancouver Firefighters training staff, Councillors were put through the paces wearing full firefighter PPE including self contained breathing apparatus. Stations this year included:
- Extinguishment of a rail car fire;
- Extinguishment of a vehicle fire;
- Interior attack of a structure fire in the live burn building;
- Auto extrication and rescue of trapped victims of an auto collision;
- Self rescue in an entanglement maze with no visibility;
- CPR on a cardiac arrest victim; and
- Hazmat familiarization.
It was an intense “sampling of the wide array of emergency incidents a firefighter may be called on to attend,” Blake said.
For his part Welock said it was “a demanding afternoon.”
“I found the exercise very rewarding and came away with a greater appreciation for what our firefighters do,” he said. I would encourage fellow Councillors to attend in the future if the opportunity presents itself.”
Here are a few photos of Welock’s experience: