Foothills County is searching for volunteer firefighters for all six of their fire stations.
The County has launched the "Do You Have What it Takes - 2019 Volunteer Fire Fighter Recruitment Campaign," for Blackie, Cayley, Longview, Priddis and Spruce Meadow fire stations.
Foothills County Fire Chief Jim Smith says finding new volunteers has been a challenge.
"Five of the six fire stations are short on firefighters right now, " said Smith. "We are looking for firefighters for all of our stations. We are looking for people who are willing to drive to fight fires and do rescues."
Smith said being a volunteer firefighter appeals to a small group of volunteers and the job is sometimes feared as being scary or being very labour intensive.
"It's not necessary like that, we only put our volunteers into positions where they can take care of themselves, as well as taking care of other people."
Smith says they are looking for volunteers who are 18 to 65, or older if they feel they can handle what's involved, and they do training once a week at each station.
"We are looking for people who are looking to give back to the community."
He says some of the work includes going out on medical calls, driving fire trucks, fighting fires and being a safety officer on scene.
"Whatever it is it is, it is not necessarily front line firefighting, there are other things people can do if they don't want to get into the frontline aspect of it."
He adds being a volunteer firefighter can be very rewarding, and there can be a few perks to the job.
"It can lead to other opportunities. We do standby for movie sets, we do standby for the air show, standby for other fire services. We work with forestry and other agencies, RCMP so there are a lot of other things that happen in the firefighting community that people might not be aware of that might be quite attractive actually."
To be a firefighter:
Volunteer firefighters need to be able to think quickly, have good communication skills, leadership capabilities, able to thrive in high-stress situations, plus a Canadian class 5 driver’s license.
Volunteer Firefighters, respond to emergency situations to protect citizens, rescue and evacuate people from hazardous environments while learning the trades of emergency responder including different jobs such as rescue and pump operator.
In addition to responding to a broad range of emergency situations including motor vehicle accidents, Volunteer Firefighters perform duties of fire suppression and public education.
For more information contact Fire Chief Jim Smith at the Foothills Fire Department.
Email: [email protected]
Send us your news tips, story ideas and comments at [email protected]