Crews practice with fake call

Firefighters deal with burning boat at marina

Two Ladysmith firefighters pull out a dummy victim in a boat fire drill.

Two Ladysmith firefighters pull out a dummy victim in a boat fire drill.

Smoke plumed out of the boat, the victim was unable to move and the firefighters responded.

Luckily, Sunday afternoon’s marina fire was just a drill.

“The purpose of the course is to bring awareness of harbour authorities and firefighters working together to facilitate fires down on the docks,” said Mike Turner of Ladysmith Fire and Rescue.

The two-day course hosted by Seafire Training had the firefighters in class and then on the docks for simulated emergencies.

“It’s training. We look for the problems cause that’s where we learn,” said Captain John Lewis of Seafire Training. “It’s realistic and relevant.”

The firefighters had three drills to perform down at the Fisherman’s Wharf in Ladysmith.

The first one was getting the water supply ready to attack the fire.

The second drill involved one casualty and a room search, and the third drill involved three casualties and an environmental aspect.

These drills are essential in fighting fires down at the water — and responding to disasters like January’s marina fire that claimed one life and destroyed numerous vessels.

“This gives everyone an idea of how different it is to put out a fire on a boat,” Turner said.

Ladysmith Fire Chief Ray Delcourt said there are many key differences to fighting fire on land and in the water.

“Houses don’t move and on boats it’s full of fuel, oils and fibre glass burns quickly,” he said. “Also, the boats are parked so close together.”

Delcourt said the department has had this training before and this course was designed for the new members.

The Marine Fire Fighting for Land Based Fire Fighters session was held Saturday, April 16 to Sunday, April 17.