Training the bomberos

Oak Bay firefighter heads for Peru to share experience

Oak Bay Firefighter John Ballantyne heads to Peru with Firefighters Without Borders Canada from March 1 to 20.

Oak Bay Firefighter John Ballantyne heads to Peru with Firefighters Without Borders Canada from March 1 to 20.

Oak Bay firefighter John Ballantyne looks forward immersing himself in Peruvian life while training the country’s volunteer fire service “and hopefully have a positive impact” as he deploys with Firefighters Without Boarders Canada.

“I’ve done a lot of travelling and have been to Peru before and wanted to go back and give back,” Ballantyne said. “This is a good thing to do with my skill set.”

Working with the CRD Hazmat team, Ballantyne learned of the organization and chatted with Metchosin Fire Chief Stephanie Dunlop. As someone who’s done repeated trips with Firefighters Without Borders Canada, Dunlop serves as team leader on this trip to train firefighters – bomberos – in Peru from March 1 to 20.

“Backpacking around … it’s different than living and working with them, which is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” Ballantyne said.

Firefighters Without Borders Canada is a group of volunteer firefighters, professionals and civilians from all over Canada and the U.S. The registered non-profit offers support to emergency service organizations in countries with a demonstrated need by donating equipment and training.

The goal is to provide a “helping hand up” to these organizations.

This trip, a crew of 13 from Canada and the U.S. will head for Lima, Peru to start, then to Ilo, Arequipa and Cerro de Pasco for further training. “It’s basically training the fire service in Peru. They do very little training,” Ballantyne said.

Firefighters Without Borders Canada attempts to tailor training in areas most needed. They plan to do some incident command work this trip.

“It’s what they need and it’s certainly something I have experience in,” Ballantyne said.

The organization has at times filled shipping containers with equipment or donated fire trucks. Ballantyne expects his two pieces of luggage will hit capacity filled with personal training gear.

“Right now I’m soliciting old command boards,” Ballantyne said.

Boards are used to organize a scene, including firefighter safety and providing a co-ordinated approach for any type of incident. “Right now it sounds like all the trucks come in in a mish-mash, and firefighters do what we call ‘freelance,’” he said.

Learn more at Donations can be made through the Oak Bay Fire Fighter Charitable Foundation with cheques designated to Firefighters Without Borders Canada, at the fire hall, 1703 Monterey Ave. Tax receipts are available.



Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A single-vehicle collision involving a driver who struck the median on McKenzie Avenue at Carey Road interrupted morning traffic on Jan. 21. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Single-vehicle crash interrupts morning traffic in Saanich

Incident was minor, no significant injuries reported, firefighter says

Ron MacDonnell leans over the railing on Beacon Wharf Tuesday afternoon. The Town of City is currently looking into the future of the aging structure. It could make way for a concrete pontoon once part of the floating bridge over Hood Canal in Washington State. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney explores public-private partnership for iconic Beacon Wharf

Wharf committee recommends town invite pontoon company to submit proposal

Victoria police are seeking home surveillance video and witnesses following a prowling incident in Esquimalt Jan. 20. (Black Press Media file photo)
Esquimalt prowler removes air conditioner, peers into person’s home

VicPD is seeking video footage, witnesses following Jan. 20 incident

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Man allegedly bites Vancouver cop during arrest for outstanding warrant

The officer was treated in hospital for the bite wounds

(File Photo)
Interior Health says COVID positivity rates in Fernie area actually 10-12%

IH say the rates are not as high as previously claimed by the region’s top doctor

Black bear cubs Athena and Jordan look on from their enclosure at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Association in Errington, B.C., on July 8, 2015. Conservation Officer Bryce Casavant won the hearts of animal lovers when he opted not to shoot the baby bears in July after their mother was destroyed for repeatedly raiding homes near Port Hardy, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Supreme Court quashes review of B.C. conservation officer who refused to euthanize bears

Bryce Casavant was dismissed from his job for choosing not to shoot the cubs in 2015

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Premier, health officials to discuss next steps in COVID immunization plan

Nearly 31,000 doses of vaccine the province expected by Jan. 29 could be curtailed due to production issues

Homalco First Nation said that it will intervene in the judicial review sought by aquaculture companies with regards to federal decision to phase out 19 Discovery Island fish farms by 2022. In this picture from Sept. 24, a demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver.(Quinn Bender photo)
Chief says push for fish farm judicial review a challenge to reconciliation, Aboriginal Rights

Homalco First Nation chief reacts to Mowi and Cermaq intervention in Discovery Island decision

Most Read