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May 5 2020

Coastal GasLink supports expansion of Skeena Valley Fire Rescue Training Centre

Posted by Coastal GasLink

Safety is our number one value, on our worksites and beyond into the communities where we work and live, including local emergency and fire response preparedness. That’s why we’re pleased to announce a $15,000 donation to the Thornhill Firefighters Association.   

The funding will support the development of a cold smoke training facility at the Skeena Valley Fire Rescue Training Centre in Thornhill, B.C., allowing firefighters from across the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine to simulate and train through several different emergency response scenarios, including confined space rescue, slope, and high angle rescues, firefighter survival techniques, occupant searches and rescues, simulated roof operations, ventilation, and many others.

Once complete, the cold smoke facility will welcome neighboring rural fire departments to use as an accessible and specialized rescue training facility, including Thornhill’s 40-member volunteer fire department.

Lieutenant Shawn Giesbrecht, a 22-year veteran of the Thornhill Fire Department, knows how critical training and education are in protecting the region – now and into the future. An important part of his role is training the new and younger members of the department. 

“The facility will make a big difference for our region’s first responders,” Shawn explains, “The more we can provide lifelike rescue training experience, the better.”

“Our volunteers will directly benefit from advanced training and knowledge by providing the highest standard of first response training to the communities of Thornhill, Lakelse Lake and the Kitselas First Nation,” he added.

The Thornhill Volunteer Fire Department serves as support to the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine, a large rural region that includes the Kitselas First Nation.

“Safety is absolutely our number one priority, and we know that Northern B.C. communities share our values and commitment to safety,” explained Kiel Giddens, Coastal GasLink’s Public Affairs Manager, of the partnership. Speaking to the importance of the facility, Kiel added that first responders need to be trained to the latest standards and have the skills and tools to keep their communities safe, and this facility will allow them to get excellent experience and training close to home.

Over the past few summers, B.C. has faced devastating wildfires, furthering the need to ensure a high standard of education, training and preparation for the women and men of northern B.C.’s fire departments.

Part of our commitment to building an extraordinary legacy is to work together with local communities along the project route to be prepared in the unfortunate event of a wildfire. Coastal GasLink has put this commitment into action by funding critical training programs and facilities that are helping local communities get the training and equipment they need to fight local wildfires.

We take pride in helping to share our values of safety with communities along the Coastal GasLink route. Whether it’s partnering with community groups, supporting local initiatives, or encouraging our employees to get involved in local initiatives, our goal is to build safely and leave a positive legacy for generations to come.

As the weather heats up across the province, we ask that everyone remain vigilant. If you see something that could cause a fire, please contact local authorities. Always obey local laws regarding open fires, including campfires.

Learn More

Coastal GasLink’s donation to the Thornhill Firefighters Association is part of TC Energy’s Build Strong program that provides valuable tools and resources to first responders, helps fund educational programs, supports important community needs and strengthens environmental stewardship and sustainability through local and regional investments.

Build Strong isn’t just about giving back – it’s about following through on the commitments we make. It’s about building a stronger future, together.