Sun Peaks Fire Rescue (SPFR) is putting a call out for volunteers. The firefighting service is seeking people 19 years of age or older who live within the boundaries of Sun Peaks or Whitecroft and are willing to commit to at least a couple of years with the service.
In return, volunteers will receive a raft of professional training (in addition to the gratitude of the community).
“Over the course of their time at the fire department, [volunteer firefighters] will receive the same accredited training as a professional career firefighter,” said Martin McQuade, fire prevention officer for SPFR. “That includes firefighting, medical, and hazardous materials and response training.”
With such training, some past volunteers have gone on to secure rewarding full-time firefighting careers, said McQuade.
Volunteers must be willing to volunteer their Tuesday evenings from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. as well as attend weekends where the bulk of the training instruction is provided.
“A lot of the initial firefighter training is done in these bootcamp-style weekends, and then the maintenance of that training is not a Tuesday night,” he said.
In addition, volunteer firefighters work on call in the event that there is an emergency.
McQuade said the department is ideally searching for volunteers who are permanent residents or citizens of Canada given the expensive cost of the training.
He added the service is open to men and women of varying fitness levels.
Lest you be intimidated by the fitness requirements, McQuade said they are more modest than that required by professional fire services.
“If you’re healthy enough to go skiing, you are healthy enough to be a volunteer firefighter,” he said with a laugh. “You don’t have to lift 400 pounds over top of your head in front of us or anything like that.”
Applicants who pass the application stage will be required to undergo a firefighter medical examination, conducted at the Sun Peaks Health Centre.
Other requirements include:
– Hearing must be normal without aids
– Applicant does not possess a criminal record
– Valid Driver’s License with a favorable Driver’s Abstract
To learn more, check out SPFR’s website.
The deadline for applications is April 9.
Joel Barde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Sun Peaks Independent News Inc.