In 2023, the Tŝilhqot’in National Government brought new faller training to the Tŝilhqot’in Territory through a competency-based course delivered by VIFM Training and Development.


In the heart of British Columbia on the traditional territory of the Tsilhqot’in Nation, a transformative initiative is unfolding. Dave Altrows and Theo Krebs, visionaries at Vancouver Island Forest and Marine (VIFM), are leading the charge on a groundbreaking program that seeks to redefine the way we approach training and support in the forestry and firefighting sector.

Recognizing the limitations of conventional, one-size-fits-all training models, VIFM has embarked on a journey to bridge the gap between individual needs and standardized practices. Their collaboration with the Tsilhqot’in National Government is not just a partnership; it’s a commitment to a tailored, inclusive approach that extends beyond the ordinary.


From September 2023 to February 2024, VIFM, with support from Tsi Del Del, Cariboo Chilcotin Rehabilitation, Natural Resources Canada, and the Province of BC, pioneered a New Faller Training initiative. This program isn’t just about developing skills; it’s about understanding the unique challenges within Bands and Nations and crafting solutions that resonate with the learners.


At its core, this initiative is a response to a crucial realization—cookie-cutter training models don’t cut it. Each individual, each community, each Band, and each Nation have their own rhythm of learning. VIFM is committed to supporting Nations in creating harmony between the diverse needs of the participants, and the demands of the industry. The program extends beyond the confines of conventional training. It’s about building capacity in remote communities for Emergency Response, providing additional support to community members to ensure success rates, and engaging in meaningful discussions with the Tsilhqot’in Nation about their wants and needs.


VIFM doesn’t just offer training; they co-create tailored programs with their partners. This isn’t a standardized curriculum imposed from above; it’s a collaborative effort that considers the rich tapestry of knowledge that comes from our clients. In this journey, VIFM acts as a bridge, connecting not only with the client but also with other contractors, government agencies, and corporate companies. The goal is to set up a sustainable, long-term training plan that resonates with everyone involved.


Certified supervision ensures success, and continual quality assurance on trainers and trainees solidifies the achievement of goals and objectives. But beyond the metrics, VIFM’s commitment is evident in the one-on-one work with individuals, ensuring that the proper support measures are not just met but exceeded.


The story doesn’t end with the completion of the initial training period. VIFM believes in providing ongoing support, coaching, and mentoring. It’s not just about short-term intervention; it’s about nurturing long-term success.