Do YOU have what it takes to be a firefighter?
Wetaskiwin Fire Services is welcoming applications for paid-on-call volunteer firefighters – part of the annual intake of new members. Successful applicants receive full training to the national standards in everything from structure fires to emergency rescues to advanced first aid/EMR calls.
“The commitment level is high, but so are the rewards,” says Deputy Fire Chief Alex Plant, who along with full-time Fire Chief Jamie Wilkinson leads the paid-on-call team of four captains, four lieutenants and 26 firefighters. “It’s very much a family environment – we’re actively engaged in the community and enjoy giving back.”
In addition to providing emergency response services to the City’s 13,000 residents, Fire Services also serves approximately 3,000 people in Wetaskiwin County’s Zone Two fire protection area. Receiving about 600 calls each year, call-outs include structure fires, motor vehicle collisions, vehicle fires, hazardous material spills, grass and brush fires, rope rescues, medical and RCMP assists, ice rescue, fallen power lines, alarms ringing and miscellaneous public support calls.
For many of Wetaskiwin’s volunteer firefighters, the training and experience is also a stepping-stone to a full-time career in firefighting or another emergency service profession, Plant notes. “We are trained to the same skill level as full-time fire departments are.”
So, how do you become a firefighter?
Applicants are asked to have graduated from Grade 12, be reasonably fit, and have a genuine interest in giving back to the community, says Plant, who joined as a volunteer on-call recruit himself more than 27 years ago. The ability to work well as part of a team is also essential.
All additional training is provided, and the first two years following recruitment can be quite busy, but after that the time commitment primarily involves Thursday night practices throughout the year to further develop and maintain skills.
Members are paid for all training and call-out time, with a stipend also provided during on-call weekends.
What can you expect?
Once paged, firefighters rally to their assigned fire station, gear up and jump on the trucks, with the goal of responding in less than 10 minutes within City limits.
Aside from emergency calls, fire prevention activities are also part of the services provided by WFS including school presentations, tours of the fire station, and business and building inspections—in addition to attendance at various events around Wetaskiwin.
Interested in joining the Fire Services family? Fill out the online application form and email it – with your resumé – to firstname.lastname@example.org before September 2020. You can also call the Fire Services office at 780-361-4429 with questions.