Tier 3: Fire Departments

Exterior Firefighter Training

The Exterior Operations Program gives firefighters the basic knowledge and practical skills to safely attack a structure fire and extinguish the fire while protecting exposure. The course based on the British Columbia Structure Firefighter Competency and Training Playbook is designed with safety as the number one priority. The Exterior Operations course through FNESS is recognized by the BC Fire Training Officers Association, and the BC Office of the Fire Commissioner. Each successful fire fighter will receive a certificate of completion.

The whole course is 9 days of attendance, totalling approximately 56 hours of instruction. The course consists of the 14 modules over 7 days, and 2 additional days of evaluation. After each module, there is a 20-question multiple choice test and a performance checklist which needs to be completed. In this course, the successful fire fighter will learn:

  • Safety and Communication
  • Electrical Safety
  • Personal Protective Equipment and Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus
  • Ropes and Knots
  • Ground Ladders
  • Ventilation
  • Fire Hose, Appliances and Streams
  • Water Supply
  • Fire Behavior and Building Construction
  • Fire Fighter Rehabilitation
  • Emergency Scene Traffic Control
  • ICS-100
  • Gas Safety

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Team Lead Training

The Team Leader Program is a two-day course that teaches Fire Officers how to safely monitor subordinates while focusing on safety. The course is designed to meet the performance requirements of the British Columbia Structure Firefighter Competency and Training Playbook . The target audience for this training is Fire Officers and those in leadership roles within Indigenous Fire Departments. This course will train the participants with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to direct operations at a fire incident. Through scenario-based learning, participants will practice directing and decision making at typical types of fire incidents encountered within their community. The course focuses on topics such as:

  • Traits of a good leader
  • Supervisory roles
  • Leadership
  • Risk manager
  • Documentation
  • Operational Guidelines (SOP/SOG)
  • Cleaning and Inspection of gear and equipment
  • Training
  • Accountability
  • Pre-Incident Planning
  • Strategies and Tactics
  • Span of control
  • Incident action plans (IAP)

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Provincial/National First Nation’s Firefighter Competition


Each year, FNESS hosts an Indigenous Firefighter Competition in a local community in British Columbia. Teams of 5 firefighters compete in a variety of events that test their physical ability as well as firefighting skills. Typically, the competition is combined with a training event, so that firefighters can participate in the competition and receive training. The event is held annually in early-mid summer. The First-Place winner of the competition represents BC at the National Firefighters competition hosted by Aboriginal Firefighters of Canada (AFAC).


FN Fire Department Networking and Mentorship Program

Mentorship Program is to enhance the fire officer’s skills with the administration and operations of their department. This program covers a range of topics:

  • Human Resources
  • Fire Services Standards
  • Equipment Management
  • Fire Department Budget Management
  • Report Development
  • Understanding Funding of Fire Services

The FNESS Fire Services department leads this program through email and phone call communication. Each month, one of the course topics will be addressed and Fire Services will work with the Fire Officers to develop and establish best practices for that month’s topic. Within the capacity of the FNESS Fire Services department we will reach out to fire department fire officers to guide and support them with their day to day requirements.

Using a simple platform of bi-annual surveys, the Fire Services of FNESS will reach out to communities and interact with a common practice of needs and requests. The surveys will be limited to interaction time of less than two minutes and will be used by Fire Services group to keep track of the community’s concerns and trends within the communities. 

Fire Officer Coaching is also available to assist the fire officer’s with disciplines of the training and operations of their department.  This program covers issues for training and operations issues:

  • Training Program Scheduling
  • FD Member Training Tracking
  • Operational guidelines
  • After incident reporting