Firefighters earn first class

Firefighters Jayden Ockenden, Leo Sullivan, and Brandon Moore celebrated four years with Fort St. John fire department last month, earning traditional helmets in recognition of their training and service.

Deputy Chief Daniel Simpson says the trio were excited to earn the helmets, which signify their status as First Class Firefighters.

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“It’s a sought after thing. When they get on, they want to get that traditional helmet, which signifies a lot,” said Simpson.

Simpson said training with the department is much like an apprenticeship program, with specialized training on different aspects of firefighting over the four years, with accreditation from the National Fire Protection Association.

“That’s their basis. And then when they come to our department, they have to learn our operational procedures,” Simpson said. “They spend four years learning all the specifics of how we respond to residential fires, commercial buildings, all the hazardous materials that we have, motor vehicle incidents, because we do go up the highway.”

Firefighters joining the department come with basic training, offered at the College of the Rockies or the Justice Institute of BC.

The helmets are styled after the classic helmets worn by New York and Chicago firefighters.

The Fort St. John Fire Department started its tradition of awarding helmets 17 years ago, honouring the service of members since 2003.

“Knowing when they have the traditional helmet on, we know that they’re an experienced firefighter,” said Simpson.

Firefighter Leo Sullivan receives his helmet and recognition as First Class - July 15, 2020 - City of Fort St John Fire Department
Firefighter Brandon Moore receives his helmet and recognition as First Class - July 15, 2020 - City of Fort St John Fire Department

Email reporter Tom Summer at

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