Announcement: One World Scholarship Recipients Presentation
In order to demonstrate to all the partners involved in the delivery of the One World Scholarship program, a partnership between Fire Rescue International Training Association and the Justice Institute of British Columbia, with key support from the Irving K Barber Foundation, the 2015 One World Scholars will be conducting a presentation on April 9th, 2015. All are welcome, details below.
DATE: April 9, 2015
TIME: Noon-1:00 pm
VENUE: JIBC Theater, 715 McBride Boulevard, New Westminster
Also, check out the video done by the 2015 OWS. Follow the link:
2015 El Salvador Deployment Report
FRITA Team: Norm MacLeod, Jeffrey Moore, Scott Landseidel, Allan Gartner, Blake Strauts, Rich Rangers
Submitted by Team Lead: Norm MacLeod
This year, once again, our FRITA Deployment finished our week of training with an immense sense of satisfaction.
Our Team faced a number of challenges both prior to, and during the deployment. Thankfully, Jeffrey Moore was able to make contact with government officials both here in Vancouver and in El Salvador. His efforts in this capacity are what helped us finally receive official confirmation of our visit.
Although not planned, all members of the team, with the exception of Jeff who had travelled at an earlier date, had booked flights to San Salvador from Los Angeles on the same flight. This allowed us to meet at LAX airport prior to departure and introduce ourselves to one another.
We arrived at the Hotel Grecia Friday morning which allowed us the entire day to orient ourselves and to do some exploring. As expected, the staff at the hotel are always welcoming, accommodating and friendly. The rooms are clean and, although basic, also comfortable. Free Wi-Fi was a bonus that allowed us to keep in touch with family back home.
Saturday morning the team awoke, had breakfast and although not extravagant, it was tasty and satisfying. By 10 am we were in the CBES van and off to the Cuartel to tour the training grounds and equipment. Despite sending an required equipment list several weeks prior to our arrival, what was presented was a small collection of hand tools, ladders, saws etcetera, all in various states of dis-repair. Past practice has dictated that when we start training, part of the time is dedicated to acquiring whatever you need on the day you need it.
On Sunday, the team again found ourselves on the road off to experience the area as tourists. Starting with a visit to a Coffee Plantation once owned by Jeff’s Grandparents, we toured the production facility, learned about the drying and roasting process and walked through a nursery of young coffee trees.
Sunday evening, sickness took our team by surprise and a few members began to experience some ‘issues’. I, as Team Lead, was the recipient of the worst of it. On the eve of our first training day, I was completely incapacitated and unable to function. Thankfully, members of the Team, each a leader in their own right, stepped up and came together to organize and facilitate the first day of training and it went off without a hitch.
The rest of the week’s training went well and we focused on the skills of the basic firefighter program. As several Bomberos pointed out, they felt the training was of significant value as they simply do not practice unless at event’s such as this. Our training was essentially scenario based and focused on their safety and ways to improve already established skill sets such as raising ladders and hose deployment. Experience in the group ranged from Bomberos with less than a year on the job to 25 years on the job. Our translators, Jorge and Martin joined us once again and spent the week assisting us with the delivery of our program.
There were 18 students in total with two students being female. The media was with us on two separate days as they were doing a positive story on female firefighters in the CBES.
One additional type of training provided this year was Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). A bag of 9 fold up ACTAR dolls was brought down and distributed to the members of the rural stations so they could train other Bomberos in this important life-saving skill.
At the end of our 5 days of training, all students received a FRITA participation certificate. During the week, we had met numerous times with both Wilson Segura (Head of Training) and Ricardo McLeod to strengthen our relationship and re-establish our commitment to training the Bomberos of CBES.
During Monday evening, the Team had the privilege of dining with the Vice Minister in charge of Public Safety. She spoke very highly of the work we are doing in El Salvador and expressed her appreciation of our efforts.
Wednesday evening, we were invited to the Canadian Ambassador’s home were we enjoyed an amazing dinner cooked by his Wife, Blanca.
On Saturday, with training completed, we spent the day at Lago de Coatepeque (the lake in the Volcano crater), hosted by Jeff’s Cousin and her son and daughter. Here we were able to enjoy a beautiful setting, do a little swimming, and take some time to decompress. We also enjoyed a fantastic boat ride around the lake.
Hasta La Vista, El Salvador!
One World Scholarship Summary 2015
2015 One World Scholarship Recipients: Nolan Pick, Conrad Gallagher, Steve Oishi, Ben Gutowski
Submitted by: Kim Saulnier (2015 OWS Facilitator)
The One World Scholarship program enjoyed yet another successful program, this its’ second year in Panama, Central America. Four recent graduates of the Career Fire Fighter Pre-Employment Program at the Justice Institute of British Columbia successfully competed for this year’s program which is funded by the Irving K. Barber Foundation and the Victoria Foundation. This year’s recipients were given the opportunity to travel throughout Panama in order to gain a deeper understanding of the provision of fire & emergency services in the context of a developing nation. This was accomplished by visiting over 20 fire stations from one end of Panama to the other. During these station visits, the One World Scholarship (OWS) team delivered a short but informative presentation of a number of firefighter rescue techniques – in Spanish! The OWS program provides 20 hours of language training during the first week of the 23-day itinerary in order to help prepare for their demonstrations. More importantly, however, the Spanish lessons allowed our scholars to communicate and develop relationships with our Panamanian brothers and sisters.
The 2015 participants had an extraordinary experience in Panama. The program coincided with Carnaval – a four day summer street party complete with parades, pageants, concerts and fireworks displays. This allowed our scholars to work alongside the Bomberos of the Panama fire service during the largest operational event of the year. This included working three full night shifts in which they attended a rollover motor vehicle incident, medical emergencies that were the result of long days of imbibing in the hot sun for Carnaval, and the dismantling of an African killer bee hive. There was even a call to remove a boa constrictor from a private residence. During the final evening of festivities, all four participants worked in the field, ensuring public safety and being response-ready for any situation.
The OWS team was warmly welcomed at each and every fire station we visited. At the regional cuartels (headquarters), we were often treated to a live demonstration of various firefighting and rescue techniques including hose deployment for a car fire, lift and carry techniques, killer bee removal and wildland fire tactics. Of note was our visit to Bugaba Cuartel where the bomberos had set up a combat challenge course. After they did their demonstration, the OWS team donned firefighting personal protective equipment and were invited to give it their best shot! It was a great opportunity for both professional and fraternal exchange.
The last ten days of the schedule saw the four OWS participants working beside the FRITA deployment team of professional firefighters. This gave the aspiring Fire graduates the opportunity to assist with the delivery a week-long training program which included two days of live fire exercises. All scholars would agree that their Spanish skills, along with their firefighting skills, were put to the test! We are happy to report that the OWS team did an excellent job and represented both FRITA, the Justice Institute of British Columbia and the Canadian fire service in the best possible light.
Our program also seeks to provide its recipients with opportunities to explore the national culture of our host countries. Carnaval was an excellent opportunity to see Panama at its best with its vibrant pageantry, music and dance. No visit to Panama is complete without visiting the Canal Zone. The Cuerpo de Bomberos honoured us by taking us on a VIP tour of the canal locks which is usually off limits to civilians. We also explored the more historical parts of Panama City including Casco Viejo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and to Plaza Cinco de Mayo which houses a fallen firefighter monument commemorating the loss of six firefighters on May 5, 1914. Thus concludes the 6th year of the One World Scholarship program, a joint partnership between FRITA, the Justice Institute of BC, and with support from the Irving K Barber Foundation.
Panama Summary 2015
FRITA Team: Chad Buch, Jorgen Ponsien, Doran Boudrot, Abraham Monte de Ramos
One World Scholarship Team: Kim Saulnier (Facilitator), Nolan Pick, Conrad Gallagher, Steve Oishi, Ben Gutowski
Submitted by Team Lead Chad Buch:
On Friday Feb 20th, the FRITA team met up with Kim Saulnier and the 4 One World Scholarship students, who had been travelling from upcountry Panama touring different fire stations along the way. You could tell by the looks on their faces that they were happy to be back in the city, exhausted from their busy schedule over the last few weeks. Welcomed was a few days of rest and relaxation. The following few days consisted of a team building bike excursion, a hosted dinner and dancing and a guided VIP tour of the Panama Canal. We soon brought the One World students up to speed with the goals and objectives of the FRITA training week and managed to sneak in a few team meetings to help prepare and assign tasks to everyone for the coming week of activity and training.
Monday morning came quick it seemed. The day began with a group breakfast at the hotel and then off to the Academy for a formal introduction of all participants involved in the weeks training program. A special appearance from the Director of the BCBRP and a representative from the Canadian ambassador to Panama’s office was a nice surprise. This gave an opportunity for the team to explain FRITA’s mission statement and lay the foundation to include the involvement of the Canadian Ambassadors office in future FRITA training programs .The program was well respected and received and seemed to sparked some curiosity. After the brief introduction ceremony we were off to the races. Of course, despite the best of intentions, it took a while to get organized on the training ground, but we finally got rolling with the first operations starting around noon.
The student enrolment consisted of 48 students, which we broke up into two groups. The first group was made up of 12 Fire Officers who were stationed throughout Panama City and the rural countryside .The second group of students consisted of 36 paid firefighters stationed throughout Panama City, all with approx. 5 years’ experience or less. . The request was made to instruct the officer group in ICS, fire ground accountability, and high rise operations and procedures. The Fire Fighter group of students were instructed in basic firefighting skills as well as being introduced to passport accountability. The goal of the week of training was to become proficient in basic firefighting skills Monday thru Wednesday, with the emphasis placed on fire ground safety and accountability. On Thursday and Friday the climax of the training week was to join together the two groups of students, Fire Officers and Fire Fighters, to conduct two days of live fire at the Panama Canal burn building incorporating ICS, Fire ground accountability and Safety. We were very happy throughout the week with both groups to see how open minded they were to receive new information and how hungry they were to learn new skills. They bought right into the passport accountability system. By the end of the week the IC was utilizing the status board, Officers were handing over and receiving back passport accountability tags from the IC and Fire Fighters were wearing helmet patches identifying which unit they belong to. It was a nice sight to see!
The week ended with two great days of live fire scenarios. It was now Friday and time to wrap the week up with the closing ceremonies back at the main fire hall. Certificates and gifts were handed out by both FRITA and the BCBRP. By observing the smiles on everyone’s faces, fun was had by all. It was sad to have to say goodbye and many inquiries were made as to when we would return next year. The highlight of the trip had to be when someone noticed that the fire hall seemed to clear out quite quickly shortly after the certificate ceremony. We soon realized though that nobody had left the premises, they just found their way through an unmarked door which led to a small room at the back of the hall, where the sound of clanging cold beer bottles rang out. This was the old Fire hall bar with a bar keep and a deep freeze full of cervecas. It was cold Balboa’s all around for the next few hours followed by a few push up competitions between the Bomberos and the One World Students. There were belt exchanges, photo opportunities and some spilled beer, but when it was all over, both countries went home with great memories and were able to build lasting friendships between international brothers and sisters. I want to personally thank all of the FRITA team members , Kim Saulnier and all of the One World Scholarship students for their hard work, on and off the training ground, and for making this year’s Panama deployment a success. Thank you for contributing in keeping the relationship strong between the BCBRP and FRITA. Without anyone of these individuals none of this would have been possible.
Colombia Summary 2015
FRITA Team: Chris Driessen, Tim Hannan, Eric Picher, William Heng
Submitted by Team Lead Chris Driessen:
Hey all; Colombia was my first deployment and first experience as a Team Lead. Being my first deployment I don’t have any other deployments to compare to, but with that in mind it went fairly well and I strongly believe we made a difference.
We concentrated on the things we felt would make the biggest impact with the equipment they had. We first of all had them show us how they do things and explain local building construction. We worked on ladder skills, ladder rescues, hose work , PPE, auto-extrication, Ropes & Knots and emphasized more of defensive/exterior attack skills.
The first town, Cienaga was a very keen and disciplined group. We worked on PPE, fire ground safety, auto ex , ladders/rescues, CPR, black out searches and following a hose line to safety.
The second town, Malambo has a beautiful new truck . We showed them how to load pre connects for 1.5 &2.5 lines. We utilized the training maze in the back of their fire station for black out search and self rescue techniques. We also taught how to search a large room. A brief auto-ex demo was also provided in conjunction with delivery of new equipment to the nearby airport fire department.
Both departments pushed for a higher level of training, requesting R.I.T. , rope rescue and other specialty skill sets.
The next FRITA team needs to be ready to probably start at the beginning again, since course participants often vary from year to year and maintenance of these skill sets can be a challenge for the host fire service. Overall, we tried to stress the “I’m number 1 ” safety rules. They are all great at what they do with the tools they have and their hearts and determination were really inspiring to the whole team that went.
The next FRITA team going needs to know it’s not all beach days, and to avoid the shrimp on the beach as well as tap water. Finally, our team came away with one key point for prospective FRITA Team members: There is nothing to fear about going to Colombia other than a sunburn or sneaky hangover. Its been given a bad wrap for many years and its a shame.
Belize Summary 2015
FRITA Team: Brian Hutchinson (Team Lead), Bill Eggers, Eric Froese, Denis Murru, Mike Canaday, Kiko Pilas, Kai Jones.
Belize National Fire Service: 32 Sub-Station Officers, Leading Firemen, and Mechanics (4).
Submitted by Team Lead Brian Hutchinson:
Following a full year of communications that began with a letter of introduction hand delivered in March of 2014, the Belize Deployment of FRITA instructors for 2015 commenced on February 13th (Friday) and concluded the following Saturday February 21st. The first two days (Saturday & Sunday: Feb. 14 & 15) were utilized to prepare for the training program, to discuss training equipment needs, and to coordinate acquisition of these with the Belize National Fire Service (BNFS) hosts.
The Belize Deployment 2015 was conducted over 5 full days and delivered single day instruction in five topic areas: Hazardous Materials Response Operations, Fire Ground Survival, Auto-Extrication, Rapid Intervention Team-Officer, and Interior Firefighting Operations. Instructional days began sharply at 0830 and concluded by 1630 each day. The participants were broken into groups of 5 or 6 and rotated through each of these topics. A group of 4 fire apparatus mechanics participated in a five-day Fleet Maintenance program. In addition, Emergency Vehicle Operations, incorporating Pre-Trip Inspections, and preventative maintenance was incorporated into the mechanical maintenance program. Notably, the Fire Chief requested that a number of the key personnel from the 5 day/5 topic program also be given an overview on the EVO topic. As such, on Wednesday a group of 12 selected Sub-station Officers were pulled from their assigned groups, and in groups of 6 were assigned to either a morning or afternoon session.
• The program was housed at the British Army Training Support Unit Belize (BATSUB) with the Auto-Extrication and Interior Firefighting being conducted in close proximity to the military base. All course participants were housed and fed on-base, making for easier starts and finishes to the day. The facilities at BATSUB were more than adequate and the hospitality provided by the British Army was outstanding.
• Participants completed a Course Survey that provided feedback on topic areas of interest, quality of instruction and duration of course.
At the conclusion of the program on the Friday, FRITA instructors and BNFS personnel were treated to a post-ceremony social at the Royal Engineers Bar (the RE Bar), where a number of cold Belikins were shared, many toasts were made, and in true fire service fashion, friendships were solidified.
In conclusion, a well organized, and well run deployment on the part of the BNFS and FRITA. Given the desire of the BNFS to have this be an ‘Advanced Leadership Course’, they took the huge step of bringing all their senior officers from across the country to participate. This demonstrates a level of commitment to the training program.Efforts are already underway planning for the 2016 program!
Good Luck to the 2015 Deployments!!
The following four deployments are fast approaching. Thanks to the team members for stepping forward and contributing to our international development efforts.
Chris Driessen (Coquitlam Fire/Rescue)
William Heng (JIBC Grad)
Eric Picher (Lions Bay Fire/Rescue)
Tim Hannan (Lions Bay Fire/Rescue)
Brian Hutchinson (Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services)
Denis Murru (Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services)
Bill Eggers (Nanaimo Fire/Rescue)
Kai Jones (Surrey Fire Service)
Mike Canaday (Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services)
Kiko Pilas (Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services)
Eric Froesse (Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services)
El Salvador (Feb.20-Mar.1)
Norm MacLeod (Mission Fire/Rescue)
Rich Rangers (Mission Fire/Rescue)
Scott Lanseidel (Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services)
Blake Strauts (BC Ferry Corp)
Allan Gartner (Engineering & Fire Services)
Jeffrey Rodd Moore (Honorary Consul of El Salvador)
Chad Buch (Coquitlam Fire/Rescue)
Doran Boudrot (Nanaimo Fire/Rescue)
Jorgen Ponsien (Whitehorse Fire Department)
Abraham Monte De Ramos (City of Vancouver)
Kim Saulnier -One World Scholarhip Coordinator (Coquitlam Fire/Rescue)
Nolan Pick – (One World Scholarhip/JIBC)
Conrad Gallagher – (One World Scholarhip/JIBC)
Steve Oishi – (One World Scholarhip/JIBC)
Ben Gutowski – (One World Scholarhip/JIBC)
One World Scholarship 2015
For the 6th year in a row, the Justice Institute of British Columbia has provided an opportunity for 4 grads of the Fire Fighting Technologies Certificate to experience fire & emergency services in an international context. During the first 4 years, the program was held in El Salvador and in 2014 and 2015 the program is taking place in Panama.
A brief overview of the 2015 program:
- The scholars will be leaving on February 8th to Panama City
- They will be receiving a 5 day, 20 hour intensive Spanish language program in the tropical rainforest area of Boquete.
- Their days will be split with Spanish class in the morning and then touring the regional fire halls in the afternoon.
- The scholars will also be taking on an assignment creating a fire safety plan for Jungla de Panama Wildlife Reserve, leaving a legacy worthy of the Irving K. Barber Foundation.
- A large part of the hall visits is presenting the Panamanian bomberos (firefighters) with a demonstration of lifts and carry techniques for rescuing persons inside a structure fire. These may include civilians or their fellow firefighters. The bomberos of Panama may already be knowledgeable in these techniques so ultimately the presentation is more of an exercise for our scholars in doing public presentations which is one of the duties of a firefighter.
- Over 10 days we intend to visit at least one fire hall in each of the 10 operational zones serviced by the Benemerito Cuerpo de Bomberos de la Republica de Panama (BCBRP).
- Once back in Panama City, the scholars will join the 2015 Fire Rescue International Training Association (FRITA) deployment team on February 20th. At this point, the role of One World scholars will shift from that of student to assisting Canadian firefighters to deliver a training program based on meeting NFPA standards in basic firefighting and company officer duties.
It is fair to say that the days are long and packed with activities and experiences. We hope this will instill a sense of connection to firefighters in the global community and gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the career these four young men have chosen.
Notice: Annual General Meeting
Fire Rescue International Training Association (FRITA) will be holding its AGM on Wednesday November 12th at 1830 hours. All are welcome to attend. Details are as follows;
Who: Fire Rescue International Training Association (FRITA)
What: Annual General Meeting (AGM)
Where: Woody’s on Brunette (935 Brunette Ave, Coquitlam)
When: Wednesday, November 12th, 1830hrs.
Why: To update all interested individuals on the activities of the non-profit society Fire Rescue International Training Association (FRITA) and the plans for the upcoming year.
November 15th, 2014 – Burger & Beer event
Nanaimo Fire/Rescue members Bill Eggers and Doran Boudrot are organizing a social night fundraiser for FRITA on November 15th at the Wellington Pub in Nanaimo. Click on the link below for all the details.
March 18, 2014 – FRITA’s Post Deployment Reviews.
Our 2014 deployments represented a milestone as FRITA partnered with the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) Fire & Safety Division to provide certified and standardized training to fire service personnel in El Salvador, Colombia, and Panama. In both El Salvador and Panama, FRITA instructors facilitated the practical evaluation and written exam components of the JIBC Basic Fire Fighting Certificate, which allows departments to demonstrate that their fire fighters possess the minimum fire fighter skills within NFPA 1001 and receive certification from the JIBC.
March 02, 2014 – FRITA’s President Matthew Witt was on the VIA MIA Show.
On January 05, 2014 MATTHEW WITT firefighter and president of FRITA was on the VIA MIA Show highlighting the importance of his occupation along with his involvement in a volunteer organization FRITA (Fire Rescue International Training Association) Video starts at the 2 minute mark sorry for the inconvenience.
January 25, 2014 – FRITA is pleased to announce its deployment teams 2014
FRITA 2014 Deployments are just about ready to launch! We are pleased to announce the 2014 Team Instructors & One World Scholars who will be off on the adventure of a lifetime! Safe travels, brothers & sisters! Colombia – Deploys February 14-23, 2014 Brian Hutchinson – Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services Bob Allan – West Vancouver Fire Rescue Mike Canaday – Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services Patrick Sheeley Surrey Fire Service El Salvador – Deploys February 14-23, 2014 Norm Macleod – Mission Fire Rescue Jeffrey Moore – Honourary Consul for El Salvador Mark Pfeifer – Delta Fire/Rescue Chad Buch – Coquitlam Fire Rescue Kiko Pilas – Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services Jorgen Poinsen – Whitehorse Fire Department (Yukon) Eric Picher – Lions Bay Fire Rescue Doran Boudrot – Nanaimo Fire Rescue Panama – Deploys February 7-17, 2014 Matthew Witt – Surrey Fire Service Kim Saulnier – Coquitlam Fire/Rescue Jennifer Dawkins – Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services Matthew Leonard – St John’s Regional Fire Department (NFLD) Bill Eggers – Nanaimo Fire/Rescue Michael Crisp – JIBC-One World Scholarship Millan Lavallee – JIBC-One World Scholarship Ryan Millan – JIBC-One World Scholarship Olivier Hovasse – JIBC-One World Scholarship
January 25,2014 – FRITA members received the Train the Trainer course
FRITA members received the Trainer the Trainer course at the JIBC: Justice Institute of British Columbia on December 15th. FRITA is proud to partner with the JIBC to deliver the Basic Fire Fighter Certificate program to our our brothers and sisters in Colombia, El Salvador and Panama in 2014. This is an exciting step forward in providing standardized training to our partners in the Latin American fire service.
November 1, 2013 – FRITA’s first Annual General Meeting
FRITA will hold their first Annual General Meeting, Wednesday, November 20th. 7 pm at Seymours Pub in North Vancouver. There will be a very officious meeting followed much comradery and tale telling. New members are always welcome. $20 membership dues.FRITA & the JIBC: Justice Institute of British Columbia are pleased to be partnering again in 2014 to offer recent JIBC Fire Academy graduates the opportunity to apply for the One World Scholarship program. The OWS provides successful applicants with a 3 week adventure of a life time. The assignment is to train fire fighters in the Central American country, while learning how fire services operate in a developing country. The JIBC grads will receive Spanish lesson, exposure to local and fire culture and the opportunity to build lasting relationships with firefighters abroad.
September 11, 2013 – FRITA’s is pleased to partner with the JIBC again in 2014
FRITA & the JIBC: Justice Institute of British Columbia are pleased to be partnering again in 2014 to offer recent JIBC Fire Academy graduates the opportunity to apply for the One World Scholarship program. The OWS provides successful applicants with a 3 week adventure of a life time. The assignment is to train fire fighters in the Central American country, while learning how fire services operate in a developing country. The JIBC grads will receive Spanish lesson, exposure to local and fire culture and the opportunity to build lasting relationships with firefighters abroad. Check out the OWS student blogs from 2013! http://
August 2, 2013 – Profile of Brian Hutchinson, Graduate of the UBC Certificate in International Development
Profile of Brian Hutchinson, Graduate of the UBC Certificate in International Development. Brian discusses why he chose the UBC Continuing Studies program and what it has meant for him in his work with Firefighters Without Borders and First Responders International Training Academy. UBC Certificate in International Development The certificate meets the growing need for trained professionals with knowledge of international development issues and the skills to work successfully in international environments. The 100% online (with the exception of the field study elective course), part-time certificate is designed for those working or planning to work in the field of international development, individuals interested in global issues and those considering future studies.
For more information view: http://cstudies.ubc.ca/cid
April 18, 2013 – Four Students One World 2013
Four graduates of JIBC’s Career Fire Fighter Pre-Employment Certificate Program left the Lower Mainland on February 3, 2013 to begin the adventure of a lifetime; combining their passion for firefighting with an opportunity to travel to El Salvador with BC fire fighters through First Responders International Training Academy (FRITA), and assist with efforts to deliver much needed equipment and training to emergency services personnel.