The past year has been one of many changes for Training Division and all of our students, but no area has perhaps been more dynamic than that of travel to the US and more specifically, returning to Canada for our hundreds of Canadian students.
Training Division has been deemed "essential" for entry into the US and at the current time, does require a NEGATIVE Covid-19 PCR test result to cross the border by air or land. Entry by air is still the best through Toronto, Montreal, Calgary or Vancouver.
Return to Canada for most students has been easy as well. We provide the COVID-19 testing on the second last day of camp allowing students to fly home on either the final Friday after the state exam or even Saturday if they wish. Most Canadian students arrive at Canada Customs, are deemed essential travelers and have been exempt from arrival testing, hotel stays, fees, or quarantine. However not all students are granted the same exemptions from their individual customs agent and have had to participate in the landing testing and hotel stay while awaiting results. Although Training Division is in no way involved in these decisions or processes, we feel it is important to communicate to students that this, on rare occasions, has happened and is possible.
Most students have weighed the possible complications of travel with the benefit of completing certification and applying for firefighter positions in the near future, and for most, getting on with a department will be well worth the minor travel inconvenience that usually isn't even an issue. For others however, they may choose to participate in one of the Kimberley or Surrey, BC camps to complete their training. We do still have spots open for May, June, July and beyond. There is an additional cost for delivery of camps in Canada, and that cost is likely more than any Covid travel complication, but we leave that choice to each student and are just grateful to be in a position to offer opportunities in both countries.
If you are interested in a BC camp, please contact Brad@smartfire.ca directly for more information and date availability. If Texas still is your preferred camp, that is a great choice and we'll see you there.
Training Division Fire Academy
& SMART Fire Academy