Sask. firefighting program re-opens after two-year pause

Residents across Saskatchewan can once again be trained as certified firefighters, with the re-opening of the provincial firefighting program in Melville.

Suncrest College’s provincial training site is now named the Saskatchewan Emergency Response Institute. It will train pre-employment, volunteer and industrial firefighters.

“Firefighters play a critical role in safeguarding and protecting the people, property and resources of Saskatchewan, and our government’s support of this program is an investment in them and their commitment to improving public safety throughout the province,” said Marlo Pritchard, Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency president and fire commissioner.

“This program will ensure firefighters in Saskatchewan benefit from robust firefighting training, including continued education.”

The Ministry of Advanced Education, Ministry of Immigration and Career Training and the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency invested a combined $1.8 million towards the training program this year.

The program’s first summer cohort upon re-opening has 14 students beginning training. More programs and courses will be available in the fall.

Parkland College offered firefighting training until 2021. Suncrest College was established this year, merging Cumberland College and Parkland College.

“It is good to have a school in a rural location because it prepares us for where most firefighters end up working in Saskatchewan,” said student Ethan Rugg.

“The school is well-equipped to prepare us for anything you could expect, from city fires to basic wildland fires.”

The next intake for the NFPA 1001 program is in spring 2024.

Students have access to an Emergency Medical Responder course immediately following completion. Industrial fire training will also be expanded in the fall to meet industry needs.