The Lesser Slave Lake Regional Fire Service is doing a recruitment drive for volunteer firefighters.
Deputy Chief Alex Pavcek says the department is losing five of its members due to their full-time jobs.
Pavcek says that they would like the volunteer numbers at Hall #1 in Slave Lake to remain at the 40 mark or higher. To fill the gap, the fire service is looking for anyone over the age of 18 who has any interest in becoming a firefighter.
There is no cost to becoming a firefighter; training and all supplies are provided.
Pavcek explains each interested person will go through a six-month probation period.
“We don’t expect people to get right on the truck the first day and go fight fire,” he says.
“We want to train them [recruits] to a level where they’re comfortable and we’re comfortable putting them in those situations.”
For the first three months, new recruits are expected to attend all practices, which take place on Monday nights. Pavcek says each person works towards getting a pager; they are still probationary firefighters, but when they carry a pager they can start responding to calls.
In the last three months of the probationary period (with more training) the recruits become what is called a “yellow helmet” firefighters.
Pavcek states that does not mean recruits are full-fledged firefighters; it just means that recruits will have enough training that they can be put into certain situations and be comfortable with it.
“It takes years,” he says. “There’s always training; there have been guys who have been here [with the Regional Fire Service] for 10 years training guys that have been here 20 years.”
The Fire Service meets every Monday night at 7:00 p.m. at Hall #1 in Slave Lake.
If someone has any sort of interest they can come down to the hall between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. and speak to any of the firefighters there or pick up an application. People can also email fireadmin @slavelake.ca, or call 780-849-4110.