When Luke Doncses stepped outside on Mother’s Day, he knew something was wrong at a neighbour’s house in Bradford. Thanks to his Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training at Georgian College he noticed some tell-tale signs of a fire.
“The first thing I noticed was a smell, like someone might have burnt their lunch, but then I realized it was the distinct smell of aluminum burning,” said Luke. “There seemed to be quite a bit of smoke coming from our neighbour’s windows. I took a closer look from outside and saw lots of condensation on the kitchen windows and heard a smoke alarm going off inside their house.”
While Luke knocked on the door to see if anyone one was home, his mom made the 9-1-1 call. A short time later, the local fire department arrived on the scene, and safely brought out the lone occupant, a small dog, from the smoke damaged home.
Luke, who has always wanted to be a firefighter, credits his training with being able to recognize the signs of a fire and calmly know what to do.
“I would recommend taking the course at Georgian College to anyone interested in becoming a firefighter – the best job in the world,” said Luke. “I’ve really enjoyed the ice-water training, the auto extrication practice at the Ontario Auto Recyclers located in Barrie, and the special rescue training, such as trench, confined and rope rescues of all kinds.”
Rob Wilson, co-ordinator of Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training, said the program is one of the best in the province.
“Live fire training is one of our key distinguishing aspects. Using our own breathing apparatus, students visit the Ontario Fire College facility, and learn to put out ‘Class-A’ fires. This type of training gives Georgian students real-world experience, preparing them well for a career in community fire service.”
After graduating later this year, Luke hopes to have the opportunity serve as a firefighter in his community.