The Lillooet Tribal Council (LTC), with funding provided through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement, the First Nations Emergency Services Society (FNESS), and in partnership with the Community Futures Development Corporation of the Central Interior First Nations (CFDCoCIFN) is proud to provide training in Forest Fuel Management to members of our communities.
In support of this training initiative, the Interior Salish Employment & Training Society (ISETS) and the Lillooet Tribal Council also provided funding support for administration, with Leanne Michell hired as the local band representative of Aboriginal ancestry. Leanne reports directly to the Aboriginal training and Education Program (ATEP) Coordinator Shane Wardrobe. Leanne also supports activities with the Tribal Council.
We would also like to acknowledge the Lillooet Employment Services Centre for providing valuable assistance in the recruitment of trainees. The training has been focusing on preparing candidates for job placements in the areas of:
· Emergency Management;
· Wildfire Fighting;
· Forest Fuel Management; and
· Related forestry work.
As well, Aboriginal Entrepreneurship, Safety, Aboriginal Culture, and Employment Readiness elements are included throughout the training, in addition to separate course deliveries.
For First Nations communities in BC, community protection continues to be a pressing concern due to both human and naturally occurring activities. The Southern Interior Beetle Action Coalition (SIBAC) also supports the training, which links to the recommendations of their Mountain Pine Beetle Assessment and Mitigation Plan (2009).
Training sessions have been provided throughout the month of July for 22 First Nations members from Lillooet Tribal Council communities.
Courses included: True Colors, Essential Skills Assessment , Building Groups Dynamics, First Aid Level 1 with Transportation Endorsement, S 100 Fire Suppression, S 185 Fire Entrapment Avoidance, S 235 Burning Off, S 212 Fire Communications, Intro to Fuel Management, S 230 Helicopter Safety, S 232 Pumps & Water Delivery, Intro to Forestry GPS, S 130 Intro to Crew Boss & Incident Command and OFC 115 Structural Protection Course
The sessions offered significant hands-on training including using a sprinkler protection unit that protects houses.
Participants said they were prompted to take the training for numerous reasons, including curiosity, to get re-certified/return to the work force, to gain experience and open new opportunities, to become employed in the forest industry, job readiness and to upgrade their knowledge to further their careers.
Currently, we have suspended training due to the fire season, and wildland firefighting contractors' need for employees.
During fire season, the trainees have an opportunity to use their new skills to actively seek employment. The trainees will be returning in the fall to complete further training, and will be recertified in the spring as well.
We wish to celebrate the first accomplishment for the participants, and encourage all to strive for safety success in the workforce.
As the FNESS mission is to assist First Nations in developing and sustaining safer and healthier communities by providing programs and services, the coordinated efforts of all the agencies and their staff noted above are truly making initiatives such as these successful.