A brand new fire engine has rolled into town, but instead of heading to Maple Ridge Fire & Rescue, it’s going to the Maple Ridge campus for the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC).
This hands-on firefighting training ground already features a three-storey concrete burn building, an 11-car train derailment simulator, and a ship’s steel superstructure. But now, it will include a $900,000 Spartan Metro Star fire engine from the provincial government as well.
The Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training explained that up until now, the JIBC students in Maple Ridge had been forced to train with out-of-service engines that were approximately 20 years old.
“This upgraded equipment means the next generation of firefighters will learn using the very latest tools and on the exact engines used in today’s fire stations,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training.
Maple Ridge-Mission MLA Bob D’Eith also praised the move in a press release, calling it a move to future-proof B.C.’s ability to fight fires.
“Access to modern, high-quality training equipment ensures that JIBC students receive practical and unique experiences as first responders, helping to future-proof the Province’s ability to respond to crises,” said D’Eith. “I’m glad to be part of a government that prioritizes the training and security of our future firefighters, who are learning from the best to apply the tools that our fire stations currently use.”
Maple Ridge fire chief Michael Van Dop also saw this move as a step in the right direction.
“I’m happy for them that they received this new training apparatus,” Van Dop said. “It bodes well for the future training of firefighters in the province.”
This post-secondary institution for public safety, health, and criminal justice is responsible for training students in a wide variety of fields, including firefighting. The institute has six campuses throughout B.C., which includes a Pitt Meadows campus as well as their Maple Ridge location.
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