Smoky River Fire and Rescue looking to recruit
Smoky River Express
Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer fire fighter, now is your chance.
Smoky River Fire and Rescue is currently looking to add fire fighters to the McLennan, Donnelly and Falher stations, and the sooner the better.
Director of Protective Services John McDermott explains he would like to see a minimum of 20 volunteer firefighters at each station in the region.
“We would like to beef up the number of volunteers at each station,” says McDermott. “If you are ready, willing and able, we are more than willing to train you to become a firefighter.”
McDermott explains including himself there are fewer than 25 people currently volunteering at all three stations. He says with added firefighters, more can be done in the region to ensure safety throughout Smoky River.
“I have a clear understanding that people are strapped for time due to our economy,” says McDermott. “But if they have a few extra hours each week to give to the fire stations, we would be truly appreciative.”
The main requirement to become a firefighter is all interested subjects must be over 18 years of age.
“Interested people should be motivated,” explains McDermott. “They should want to become more involved with their community and want to be in a position to help others.”
McDermott says there are currently people from every profession volunteering with the fire stations in the region. He says there are oil industry employees, teachers, mayors, to name a few.
“Most of the volunteers have different skill sets,” says McDermott. “But they are all willing to give their time, learn and be part of a crew that desires to help in different situations.”
When volunteering to become a firefighter, some new skills will be acquired, which McDermott says can be carried to other occupations.
He explains many firefighters who began in regional firehouses eventually have become professional firefighters in cities, or have taken on paramedic roles with additional training.
“We are part of an inter-regional education co-op,” says McDermott. “We provide all the training required to our volunteer firefighters.”
Regional firehouses apply for a grant jointly, which McDermott says is used to train all the firefighters in the north.
“Any course taken will go toward their 1001 certification, which at the end of the collection of courses (there are 12 in total)the volunteer can be certified as a professional firefighter,” says McDermott. “The certification opens up many doors in North America.”
There is a probationary period at the beginning of the training. This is time for the volunteer firefighter to learn and get comfortable with the situations he/she may have to see. It will also allow them to see how they’ll work with the other firefighters.
“They have to understand they have to work as a team, and be able to follow orders,” says McDermott. “Part of being a volunteer firefighter is understanding people in the community will be looking up to them for leadership. They will have to learn the role and be comfortable in their role.”
There are multiple ways you can become a part of the Smoky River Fire and Rescue group of volunteers.
The are looking for people to conduct structural firefighting, wildland firefighting, vehicle and agricultural extrication (using Jaws-of-Life), dangerous goods and hazardous materials response, ice rescue, high angle, low slope and confined space rescue (technical rescue), fire inspection/investigation services, fire prevention and life safety education, and medical response (first responder program).
A firefighter with SRFR may become involved with one or all of the service provided to our communities.
Personal protective gear, training, and equipment are all supplied at no expense to the volunteers.
A junior firefighter program is also available for youth between the ages of 14 and 18. This program offers the benefits of training from experienced firefighters and valuable hands-on experience. Junior firefighters also have the unique opportunity to gain valuable insight to a potential career in emergency services.
If you are interested in taking a part at your local fire station, please phone John at 780-837-2455. Application packages may also be picked up at the Municipal Office, Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding holidays.
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