Fire Services

The Fire Services department is proud to provide fire prevention programs and firefighter training to First Nation communities in British Columbia (BC). Statistics indicate that individuals living on Canadian First Nation reserves are at a 10% higher risk of house-fire related deaths or injury. Fire Services aims to provide fire safety education, fire service training, and community support to achieve FNESS’ vision of “Safe and Healthy First Nation Communities."

Fire Services offers programs such as:

  • Exterior Firefighter Training
  • Team Lead Training
  • School Fire Prevention Programs
  • Smoke Alarm and Fire Extinguisher Initiative
  • Fire Prevention Week Poster Contest
  • Leadership and Governance Workshops
  • Community Fire Prevention Workshops
  • Home Inspection Workshops
  • Youth Fire Prevention Camps
  • Gathering our Voices Conference Workshops - cancelled in 2021 due to COVID-19; stay tuned for 2022
  • Annual BC Indigenous Firefighter Competition - virtual in 2021 due to COVID-19

Training is based off recommendations from the BC Structure Firefighter Competency and Training Playbook. (Link: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/public-safety-and-emergency-services/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/embc/fire-safety/playbook.pdf)

A tiered approach (see below) is used by Fire Services to deliver support and effective programming to communities. This process is outlined in Indigenous Services Canada's A Practical Guide to Fire Protection. FNESS looks forward to using this framework – as well as the newly adopted DRIPA (Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act)— to meet our mandate of assisting First Nations in developing and sustaining safer and healthier communities.


Contact Information
Tel: 1-888-822-3388

Dean Colthorp
Manager - Fire Services

Emerson Adolph
Fire Services Officer

Brian Lauzon
Fire Services Officer

Alisha Juma
Fire Services Coordinator

Tammy Dong
Fire Services Administration


Foundational Training

This training aims to help communities with limited fire prevention measures develop fire safety policies and bylaws. FNESS aims to introduce fire prevention measures through engagement with elected officials, emergency management personnel, band administrators and community members.


A Tiered Approach to Delivering Support and Effective Programming to Communities

Tier 1: Home Fire Protection

The programs offered in Tier 1 focus on reducing fire-related death/injury through home fire protection. Increasing home fire protection measures has the greatest potential for saving lives and reducing preventable fires.

Tier 2: Community Fire Protection

Tier 2 focuses on enhancing community education and awareness regarding fire prevention. Age specific training is available for community members, elders, young adults and children. Community fire prevention focuses on topics that require a greater degree of community organization and support to be effective.

Fire Safety Assessment (FSA) Program

Fire Safety Assessments (FSA) of First Nation communities is conducted by Indigenous Services of Canada.The purpose of the FSA is to assess the overall level of fire safety of a community and to provide options to enhance the level of fire protection.

This program will roll out once we have finalized our exploration as to what the next format of a Fire Safety Assessment should entail.

Tier 3: Fire Departments

Tier 3 training is reserved for members of the fire service. Community fire departments may be considered once a community has established Foundational and Tier 1 and 2 activities. Available training includes: volunteer recruitment and retention, administration, training and reporting, OH&S, operations, maintenance, mentorship/coaching, and partnerships/service agreements.

Fire Protection Tiers


Community Emergency First Aid Training

The intent of this course is to train community members in basic first aid, CPR Level C, and the use of an AED (Automatic External Defibrillator). This course is equivalent to the WorkSafe BC Level 1 course. Any community member (aged 17+) can participate in the training program. There is limited availability for this course in 2021. If we receive more applications than we are able to accommodate, the applications that best fit the program will be prioritized . All applications will be kept on file, and communities who do not receive training in 2021 will be placed on a waitlist for 2022.


Additional Fire Services Program

Working in collaboration with provincial fire protection agencies and municipalities to enhance resources, explore opportunities and support First Nations Fire Protection. Fire incident reporting and communications.