Students learning firefighting basics in new class at ESSC

Students learning firefighting basics in new class at ESSC

24 October 2023 à 2:47 pm

Students at École secondaire Sieur-de-Coulonge will now be able to select firefighting as one of their elective courses, due to a collaboration with MRC Pontiac and local fire departments.

Over the course of two school years, students will be able to complete their Firefighter 1 course, which covers the basics of the trade and would allow them to serve on any of the region’s departments.

MRC public safety coordinator Julien Gagnon explained that the project had been a long time coming, as L’École nationale des pompiers du Québec had started two pilot projects at high schools in other MRCs just prior to the pandemic. He said that once those trials were complete, they got to work putting their own version together. Gagnon added that recruitment and retention of firefighters is a pressing issue for local departments, and he hoped that this additional training route would help bolster their numbers.

He explained that the course is a mix of classroom theory and practical exercises, and they have an initial class of 18 students from secondaire 3 to 5. He said that while the course will take two school years to complete, he hopes the secondaire 5 students will be able to finish their studies at their local fire hall.

He said that if all goes well with this initial cohort, they are hoping to work with the Western Quebec School Board to offer the course in the Pontiac’s other high schools.

The full interview with Gagnon (5m55) is available here.