THUNDER BAY – Over 235 volunteer firefighters from various regions of northwestern Ontario will travel to Thunder Bay on Thursday to take part in important training offered by Emergency North Training (ENT) through their annual event FireCon.
“The true significance and spirit for FireCon comes from the volunteer first responders who travel from all over northwestern Ontario to enhance their life-saving skills, so they can better serve their communities and help keep their neighbors safe,” said Chief Warren Brinkman, Emergency North Training President. “Their compassion and dedication are unprecedented.”
Chief Brinkman also recognizes the importance of the dedicated volunteers and organizations that support the event year-after-year. “FireCon wouldn’t be the success that it is today without the support of our volunteer board, committee, partner organizations and fire service exhibitors. The tools and expertise provided by these people and organizations allows us to deliver a high standard of training, while remaining one of the most affordable training events in the province.” “Their support and passion for the fire service is unparalleled, and I am truly thankful for their ongoing support.”
Fire Chief John Hay from Thunder Bay Fire Rescue noted his elation that the City is once again providing a centralized location for this important event. “Thunder Bay is pleased to host FireCon 2018 and we welcome vendors, delegates and their families from across Northwestern Ontario and beyond.” “The training provided this week is invaluable to the communities these firefighters protect.”
For the past twenty-seven years, ENT has provided local access to training for firefighters and emergency first responders, that would otherwise require significant financial resources and travel to southern Ontario to obtain, thus reducing the cost to access important training for the volunteer fire service.
Originally focused on core firefighting activities such as fire suppression and search and rescue, the training now offered at FireCon has come to reflect the realities faced by fire departments in serving their communities including public education, fire prevention, incident management, and auto/big rig extrication.
With the Ontario government announcing new regulations in May of 2018 that will come into force over the next two years, more specifically, mandatory training and certification for firefighters, the training at FireCon is needed now more than ever. ENT is offering four certification courses at this year’s event, helping remote fire departments access certification training and testing.
The event occurs over three days, with most of the training taking place on Friday, September 7 and Saturday, September 8 at the Thunder Bay Training Centre, Cozy’s Towing and the Victoria Inn Hotel & Convention Centre. Course offerings for 2018 include live fire training, auto extrication and big rig extrication, search and rescue, a leadership development program, forest firefighter training and certification courses in pumper operations, incident safety officer, fire service instructor and fire and life safety educator.
FireCon also hosts companies from all over Canada that exhibit in a trade show, providing fire services access to all the new gadgets, tools, technologies and lifesaving equipment available in today’s fire service.
The event is supported through partnerships with Thunder Bay Fire Rescue, the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs.
FireCon is the premiere fire service event of northwestern Ontario.