A fire department mentor looks over a new recruit’s helmet when the department hosted “Firefighter for a Night” on Wednesday. Recruits were taught how to put on full firefighters’ gear. Heriot said department members have to be able to be outfitted in a minute.

Fire department looks to attract new members

Grand Forks Fire/Rescue is recruiting.

The Grand Forks Fire/Rescue recently held a series of sessions for prospective new members, as the department looks to add more firefighters this fall.

The department held an information meeting on Sept. 21 for prospective new department members. Fire Chief Dale Heriot and Assistant Fire Chief Kevin McKinnon went through the training, expectations and logistics of being a firefighter, as well as an overview of the firefighters’ association and duty rotations.

Heriot said the department responds to roughly 400 calls per year, many of them as first-responders.

Currently, the department has 44 firefighters; Heriot said they are looking to add at least six to the department.

The following week the department hosted a “Firefighter for a Night” session in conjunction with its regular practice for its potential new recruits from the week before. In addition to learning a bit more about the department and meeting some of the members, recruits were given the opportunity to try on firefighting gear and begin to learn how to extinguish a car fire at the fire training grounds with the help of a trained department mentor.

Heriot said the department is looking to do two intake periods; one in the fall and one in the spring. While they can take applications any time, he said that training would be started during those periods, making it the best time for recruits to sign up. New members have to pass a probationary period before becomign full members.

The department trains all of its member to the NFPA 1001, which is equivalent to full-time firefighters. The process takes about three years to complete, Heriot said; while it can be done at a more intense pace it is typically done slower because the firefighters are volunteer.

Having the training ground is a real asset in training the new firefighters, he said, and saves the department significant money. Without it, firefighters would have to leave Grand Forks for couple days at a time to be trained elsewhere at significant training and travel costs.

Heriot said the department has mutual aid agreements with the Greenwood, Midway and Christina Lake departments; of those, Grand Forks is the largest department.

 

Prospective new members learned how to use the hose in teams while working on a simulated car fire at the fire training grounds on Wednesday. Heriot said having the grounds was a huge asset in training new members.

Prospective new members learned how to use the hose in teams while working on a simulated car fire at the fire training grounds on Wednesday. Heriot said having the grounds was a huge asset in training new members.

Recruits were taught how to put on full firefighters’ gear on Wednesday. Heriot said department members have to be able to be outfitted in a minute. Department members gave the prospective new members some tips for getting their gear on fast, including leaving pant legs folded down over their boots and keeping their suspenders on top for easy reach.

Members of the Fire/Rescue spoke to prospective new members at the fire training grounds last Wednesday, before the recruits learned how to use the hose and water supply. (Kathleen Saylors/Grand Forks Gazette)

Just Posted

New Glade ferry enters testing phase

The Glade II will be able to carry heavier loads and will emit less greenhouse gases.

They support us, let’s support them

Local businesses support our local economy, but they need us as much as we need them.

Genelle ‘vehicle incident’ under RCMP investigation

Regional firefighters respond to car fire Sunday night

Nelson commits to 100% renewables by 2050

This makes Nelson the sixth city in Canada to join the worldwide initiative

Health Canada consumer alert

Flintstones Plus Iron multivitamins for children: One bottle found to contain unidentified capsules instead of chewable tablets

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

RCMP nail sex toy thief

Shop owner plays a role in arrest

Ice-cream-eating bear draws controversy

An Alberta Wildlife Park posted a video this week of one of their bears going through a Dairy Queen drive-through

Fernie, RCMP go to court over city log books in fatal ammonia leak probe

Log books center stage in clashing of investigations between the city and RCMP

B.C.’s biggest pot plant planned for Oliver

Co-founder Tony Holler said the 700,000 sq. ft. facility would produce 100,000 kg of pot per year

High-end whisky seized in B.C. bar raids

Raids end in seizures at Victoria, Nanaimo and Vancouver whisky joints

Train derails in Northwest B.C.

CN reports no injuries or dangerous goods involved after coal train derailment.

Double-doubles and demonstrations: Employees rally outside Tim Hortons

Protests held in response to Ontario franchise owners cutting employee benefits and breaks

Las Vegas shooter acted alone, exact motive still undetermined: Sheriff

Stephen Paddock was behind the gunfire that killed 58 people including two Canadians

Most Read