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.
Steve Arstad, Editor Keremeos / Okanagan Falls Review (250)497-8880, (250) 499-2653 firstname.lastname@example.org