2023 Youth Firefighter Academy

School District 46, BC Wildfire Service, and Local Fire Departments Collaborate to offer students a one-of-a-kind work experience program.

The Sechelt Fire Department is proud to once again host the SD46 Youth Firefighter Academy for 2023! The Academy is a collaboration of efforts from School District #46’s District Career Coordinator Cathy Gordon, BC Wildfire Service, and Coastal fire departments to allow local students in good academic standing to participate in a highly interactive and exciting firefighting environment in which to complete their career preparation requirements for graduation. Ten Sunshine Coast students from grade 11/12 have made it through the selection process involving: physical testing, resume writing, academic review, and a panel interview.


During the initial phase (first five days of spring break) “Cadets” will learn about the fire service and its history, personal protective equipment, breathing apparatus, fire science, ladders, searching, fire suppression, car fires, dumpster fires, and auto-extrication taught by instructors from all Coastal departments. “I’m just so thrilled for these Cadets” says Sechelt Captain Steven Achterberg, “they are going to have the adventure of a lifetime!”. The next phase will see the Cadets receiving training at the Sechelt Fire Base for an additional 3-5 days, where they will gain essential skills, knowledge, and certifications that will be an asset to anyone pursuing a career in wildfire suppression, or the forest sector in general. “I am always excited to introduce firefighting to the newest generation of caring public and help them grow and develop until they eventually surpass the threshold that we currently see as the industry’s highest standard”, Stephen Gemmell, Wildfire Technician.


Generous donations and local partnerships from Wholesale Fire & Rescue Ltd., Unifor 1119, Elite Fire Protection, Coast Builder’s RONA, and Sunshine Coast GM have ensured that these students will have an unforgettable experience. “We’re happy to support the training of the next generation of front line workers in our community” – Derek Thebault, Sunshine Coast GM.


Without these valuable partnerships, this program simply does not exist and we offer our sincere gratitude for your continued support. 


Good Luck to the Class of 2023!




Class of 2023