Bright Light Interview with S. Humchitt

Name:  Sarah Humchitt - 20 years old

Community/Fire Department:  Heiltsuk Tribal Council

Interviewed by Liz Wilson on October 21, 2019

Throughout the year, FNESS offers various emergency training events to Indigenous communities in British Columbia. FNESS encourages Indigenous youth to attend both youth-focused events and additional fire prevention training.

Sarah Humchitt is a 20-year-old from Heiltsuk, who has participated in FNESS training. Sarah is described by those that know her as incredibly enthusiastic, intelligent, and always ready to learn. Liz Wilson, a FNESS Fire Services Officer, recently interviewed Sarah about how she became involved in emergency services within her local community.

In the fall of 2016, Sarah became interested in emergency management as a result of the tragic Nathan E. Stewart Tugboat diesel spill near Heiltsuk. Her school councillor suggested Camp Ignite as a way for her to learn more about emergency services.  Sarah was sponsored by the Vancouver Fire Department to attend Camp Ignite in August 2017.  Camp Ignite is facilitated primarily by female instructors from the fire services in the lower mainland and aims to introduce young women to firefighting.

In 2018, Sarah participated in various firefighting training events including a program on board HMCS Vancouver, and FNESS’s two-day Fire Prevention Youth Engagement Camp in Kitasoo. Sarah’s leadership, knowledge and keen desire to educate and support communities was very evident throughout her involvement in the Youth Engagement Camp.

More recently, Sarah worked with Indigenous Roots to facilitate round-table discussions between Indigenous female youth and other members of their industry. This past summer, Sarah attended the Indigenous Youth Climate Change Conference in Calgary.

Sarah is currently enrolled at Capilano University in the Rehabilitation Assistant program and will graduate in December 2020. Her plan is to return to Heiltsuk upon graduation and work with her community health department.  Sarah also plans to initiate a fall prevention program, create exercise classes to promote balance and strength, and work with TeleHealth to bring services to Indigenous Communities on the central coast of British Columbia. Sarah is an inspiring young woman, and we at FNESS can’t wait to see what she does next.