Forest fire training increased as standards introduced

Forest fire training increased as standards introduced

22 September 2014

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Canada — More Prince Edward Islanders are getting specialized training in fighting forest fires following the introduction of national standards.

Ken Mayhew, an information officer with the provincial Department of Forestry, told CBC News about 35 people are trained to fight wildfires on P.E.I., and about a dozen of them have now met the standard required to help other agencies if called.

In order to help fight fires in other provinces firefighters have to pass a national fitness standard and complete a helicopter exit course.

“Ten years ago … we could pretty well send anyone who volunteered,” said Mayhew.

“Now, because of new national standards the firefighters who want to go have to meet those standards first before they can go.”

Mayhew said the extra training is done off-island. It’s voluntary, but the province supports workers who want to participate.

This year two P.E.I. forestry workers went to British Columbia to help fight forest fires there.

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