We wrapped up five big days at the annual FNESS Safety Expo in Penticton. Ten teams competed in the 35th Annual Fire Fighter Competition. Fire fighters from twelve communities participated. The team from Saik’uz won first place and will represent BC at the National Firefighter Competition on August 17, 2019 in the host community of Eskasoni First Nation in Nova Scotia. Penelakut Team #1 placed second and the team from Heiltsuk placed third. The Most Sportsman-Like Team was awarded to Penticton Indian Band Fire Department, the host community.

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The Competition Day started with singing and drumming by the senior students at Outma Sqilx'w Cultural School. The competition was held on the school fields against the backdrop of an amazing panorama of the south Okanagan. We extend our sincere appreciation to Penticton Indian Band, FortisBC, HUB Fire Engines and Penticton Fire Department Burn Fund for providing assistance to make the day such a success for the competitors and spectators.

FNESS was pleased to host a Competition Banquet at the school in special recognition of the hard work, determination and friendly competition demonstrated by all of the teams.

Our sponsors, Penticton businesses and generous participants helped us raise $1,084 for the BC Burn Fund.

86 firefighters and adults involved in community safety participated in training. The Wildland training was held on-site in forested areas close to critical infrastructure at the Penticton Indian Band. Two of our Fire Services Instructors, Darren Hutchinson and Tim Rose, worked with Forest Fuel Management staff Shane Wardrobe and Robert Mitchell, to provide the training. Each day focused on FireSmart and structure protection. Saws and pruners were used to limb up trees, remove trees and open up the tree canopy. Students commented on how quickly an area can be FireSmarted!


The Penticton Fire Department Training Grounds was our second training site. The training was amazing. Colin Carswell from Rocky Mountain Phoenix provided the Auto Extrication Training. Everyone was able to work on the cars to learn firsthand how basic equipment can be used for auto extrication.


People new to firefighting were outfitted with turnout gear and given the opportunity to practice many skills essential to fire fighting. Live-fire training and fire grounds awareness and safety were part of this dynamic training.

We very much appreciated the leadership, knowledge and encouragement provided by our training team of Reo Jerome, Tim Mills, Justin Stewart, Tyler Hilland and the Penticton Fire Department technicians. The training was suitable for people with different levels of experience.


Bryan Neufeld of FortisBC provided the Natural Gas/LNG Awareness Program for Emergency Responders. The FNESS Safety Expo provided practical training for fire fighters that included lots of information that they can share with their fire departments and communities. Individual certificates have been mailed to each community to recognize the participation of their members in the three days of training.

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A big effort to ensure the success of the Safety Expo was made by our staff members. Thank you to Tammy Dong, Karen Alexander, Esther Winder, Richard Olak, Liz Wilson and Kynan O'Rourke.

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Thank you to our sponsors for supporting the FNESS Safety Expo and the ongoing work of FNESS.