Firefighters with the Williams Lake Fire Department will resume training the last week in May, but in smaller groups to adhere to COVID-19 precautions. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Small group training new norm for Williams Lake fire department during COVID-19

Due to COVID-19 precautions, groups will practice either Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

Regular training for the Williams Lake Fire Department will resume later in May but in smaller groups to maintain physical distancing practices.

Training for the 40-member paid-on-call crew will resume May 25-27, continuing every Monday to Wednesday from 7-9 pm, instead of all together on Tuesday evenings as they normally do.

The crew has been receiving virtual training, such as watching videos on how to respond to car fires and wild land safety, since the fire hall was closed on March 19 in response to concerns around the COVID-19 outbreak.

It remains closed to the public at this time.

“People are going to start seeing firefighters back at the fire hall and maybe a truck or two on the streets at night as we get back into practice,” said Deputy Fire Chief Rob Warnock.

“We need to maintain our skills, but we recognize COVID-19 is still an issue so we’re going to do it in smaller groups to keep our distance.”

Read more: Fire dept. extinguishes brush fire in Williams Lake River Valley

The new training regime will limit class sizes to between 10 and 13 firefighters, which will allow members to remain two metres apart, as per the directive of the Provincial Health Officer.

The decision to resume training follows an announcement by the Province to begin restarting the province in mid-May.

Under B.C.’s Restart Plan, government will work closely with public health officials, businesses and labour organizations to lift restrictions in phases, gradually allowing for more social and economic activity, while closely monitoring health information to minimize the risk to the public.

The City will update residents as further developments occur.

For up-to-date information regarding the local response to the COVID-19 situation, visit www.williamslake.ca/COVID-19.



news@wltribune.com

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