Taber Fire Department hosts first recruitment drive of the year

The Taber Fire Department is once again looking for more individuals to join the ranks. With Amy West, assistant chief at the Taber Fire Department spearheading this recruitment drive, this is a perfect opportunity for people to become volunteer/paid-on-call firefighters.

“I think that being a firefighter, in general, is a great way to contribute to your community, but it also provides a lot of opportunity for self-growth and professional development,” said West. “It is going to be demanding, it’s a physically demanding job, it’s emotionally and mentally challenging job, but it is very rewarding. We do provide the training required, so you will find that you will learn lots of new knowledge and skills. We are a very tight-knit close team, so you are going to meet new people, friends and you can do all that while playing a vital role in the community.”

If interested in joining, you must be at least 18 years of age, eligible for employment in Canada, reside in the town limits of Taber, hold a valid Class 5 Driver’s License (airbrake endorsement would be considered an asset), be able to provide a Criminal Record Check, including a vulnerable sector check, and be able to pass a Fire Department Medical assessment with a physician and complete a Fire Department Candidate Physical Ability Test (C-PAT). West took a moment to speak on how their last recruitment drive went before commenting on how many people they are looking to bring on with this recruitment drive.

“The last recruitment drive went really well. We took on a group of individuals that went through the training and I think we had four people that were successful. They are all still with us and made it off of their probation just before Christmas. It went really well and I think they’re all happy here and enjoying it. We’re hoping for the same number as last time that four to six. However, depending on the amount of quality applicants, we’re open to accepting more. It’s all going to depend on who is interested and what we attract. Community-orientated applicants committed to the well-being and safety of the community are strongly encouraged to apply.”

The Taber Fire Department is also not just looking for the stereotypical firefighter. This desire for inclusion is also backed up by the statistics that make up the Taber Fire Department staff. With most fire departments only having around five per cent of their actual staff being female, the Taber Fire Department greatly exceeds that with their staff, being comprised of 40 per cent female individuals.

“It is kind of an exciting time in the Taber Fire Department,” said West. “We have quite a diverse group right now and I think that is something that we are very proud of. We’ve got people from all different types of backgrounds, cultures, and ethnicities. Our age range is anyone from 18 to people that have been around for 20 or 30 years. We have got quite a diverse group and I think that’s really important to note because not all people are the same. If every firefighter was the same and brought all the same strengths to the table, it would be a pretty mediocre team. It’s the differences and everyone that makes such a strong team and brings different attributes to the table.”

If you are interested in signing up, paid on-call firefighters will receive training on Tuesday evenings and you should be expecting to work between two to 10 hours due to the unknown nature of when the fire department will be called on. The deadline to sign up is on Feb. 3, 2023, and you can either apply online at www.taber.ca/fire, in person at the Taber Fire Station at 5207A 49 Avenue, by email to training. officer@taber.ca or by scanning the adjacent QR code.

Ian Croft, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Taber Times