Simon Villecourt Graduates from Firefighter Training


A former Keremeos student firefighter recently graduated from the  Texas Firefighter Training School at the end of November in a step  towards a full time career as a firefighter. Finishing seventh out of 40 students, the 21 year old Keremeos  native’s interest in firefighting began with training on the  Keremeos Volunteer Fire Department’s Youth Program. As a high school student in Keremeos, Simon was accepted into the  local program that sees secondary school youth from grades ten and up  begin training as a volunteer  member. “They get lots of practise,” said Keremeos Volunteer Fire Chief  Jordy Boscha. “They go through basic training like the other  firefighters and attend practice regularly.” If the students show ability and fulfill their probationary  obligations, they get a pager and are allowed to attend calls when  they are available. In Simon’s case, he always showed promise. “Simon was always eager and interested,” Boscha recalled. “You  could always count on him.” With respect to the young recruits Boscha said, “We don’t allow  them on the first team to attend an incident,” Boscha explained.  “They can join the second or third truck, and then they serve on  incidents in secondary roles.” The students start with black helmets  and progress to the full fledged member yellow as they reach the  required age and experience. “The program has really served the department well,” Boscha  continued. “We are really happy with the student program - it’s  filled a void in our weekday daytime numbers.” Simon credits the program with helping to get him focused on  firefighting as a career. The three month program ended in November  and Simon has subsequently  moved on to Victoria to look for a full  time job as a firefighter, as well as to pick up some further skills  needed, such as a driver’s license endorsement for air brakes.

Jan 2009

Steve Arstad, Editor Keremeos / Okanagan Falls Review (250)497-8880, (250) 499-2653

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