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New firefighters sought for Greater Trail

The Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue Service is on the lookout for new paid-on-call firefighters.

For the first time, they will host recruitment open house events at their fire stations in Rossland, Warfield, Genelle, Montrose and Fruitvale for those interested in learning more.

“These events will give residents the opportunity to meet local firefighters, and gain insight into the regional fire department, enjoy some food and receive a fire truck tour and equipment display,’ says chief Dan Derby.

“It’s a great way for potential firefighters to ask questions of the existing crew to understand the commitment it takes to become a firefighter and to familiarize themselves with their local fire station.”

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The full schedule of open houses is as follows:

Station 372 Warfield: Sunday, April 23 (1-3 p.m.)
Station 373 Genelle: Saturday, April 29 (11 a.m.-1 p.m.)
Station 375 Montrose: Saturday, May 13 (2-5 p.m.)
Station 376 Fruitvale: Wednesday, May 24 (6-7:30 p.m.)
Station 371 Rossland: Thursday, May 25 (4–7 p.m.)

Community minded people over the age of 19 and from all walks of life are being encouraged to pop in during those open house events to see what the job, training, and application process is all about. Registration is not required.

Applications will be accepted until June 15.

“Don’t ever think you’re not strong, fit or qualified enough to apply,” says deputy chief Glen Gallamore.

“All you need is a positive attitude, commitment to training, be in good health and have the drive to get involved – we will equip you with all the skills you need to be effective in the role.”

Even if they don’t view firefighting as a potential career, recruits join the department for a variety of reasons: The work is rewarding as well as the training, camaraderie and sense of community purpose which come with the role.

Many juggle family, full-time jobs, or shift work with weekly night training sessions (7-9 p.m.) at their nearest fire hall, with some specialized training off-site and on weekends.

Training days take place on Mondays (Montrose), Tuesdays (Warfield and Genelle), Wednesdays (Fruitvale) and Thursdays (Rossland).

Derby says a new, uncertified recruit typically goes through 12 to 36 months of on-the-job training which formally begins in September: “We’ve worked hard to build a training program that will provide all the skills someone will need to achieve accredited firefighter certification.”

During training, recruits will learn how to safely and effectively function on the fire ground, at motor vehicle incidents and medical aid calls, but no previous experience is necessary.

Training comprises: medical first responder and CPR, emergency scene traffic control, electrical safety awareness, gas safety awareness, NFPA Firefighter Level II, incident command, wildland firefighter, driver training and air brakes.

Applications and enquiries for each station are via the fire service’s headquarters in Trail. To find out more about what the role and application process involves, interested candidates can visit, email [email protected], or telephone 250-364-1737.

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