N.S. fire school under investigation over safety concerns
Nova Scotia's firefighter school has been put under the microscope after an instructor pulled the alarm on concerns regarding the safety of breathing apparatuses.
The device in question is used by students and instructors during live fire training exercises. Officials say they are as important to a firefighter as scuba gear is to a diver.
"It's critical that the pack works and they get the proper airflow and concentration of air they need to survive in those atmospheres," says Albert Bahri of the Nova Scotia Firefighters School.
The breathing apparatus are checked daily by students and instructors. Once a year they are sent away for more thorough testing. Twenty were checked after the concerns were brought to light and two instructor apparatuses were taken out of service until further checks could be done.
"Anything that could have been perceived as being a safety concern through our inspection has been addressed or is actively being addressed," says Mike Lockette of the Nova Scotia Firefighters School.
The province's top firefighter recommended the breathing apparatuses be pulled from service until safety checks could be done. The school says training was never affected.
"We train people to go into unsafe atmospheres, so safety for us is huge. The public will sometimes question why we are doing things a certain way and it's for the safety of those people going into those facilities," says Bahri.
The school plans to conduct a full audit of all equipment as a safety precaution.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kelland Sundahl