Lacombe County and the City of Lacombe are teaming up for a County wide recruitment campaign for Fire Services volunteers during the month of December.
Typically the City hosts an annual recruitment drive once a year, while the County recruits on an as needed basis throughout the year; co-ordinating their efforts will allow them to align more training opportunities for all departments.
Lacombe County Fire Chief Drayton Bussiere says there's one big challenge as they work to ensure they have enough volunteers available 24-7.
“Most of it really has to do with where people work. So, rural fire departments province wide, this isn’t necessarily a problem limited to Lacombe County, but rural fire departments province wide struggle with response during the day and having people available for that. Lots of people work away or they work in bigger centres and live in the smaller rural communities so that’s a challenge for sure”.
Bussiere says women may be able to help them fill that daytime challenge.
“Starting to gain some momentum which is fantastic and what we see in rural communities in certain areas is that there are still women that stay home during the day while their kids are in school and so their availability might be better than somebody that’s working in a different centre, so that’s a person probably lots of people don’t necessarily think about joining a fire department right away but definitely somebody that could be an asset”.
In terms of basic requirements, Bussiere says you need to be 18 years of age, have a valid class 5 driver's licence and be ready for the challenges of the job.
“One of the big ones really is physical fitness. It’s a physical job, its hot work, even if all you’re doing is traffic when all of your gear is on, it’s still hot and can be physically demanding job. So some physical fitness, even just being conscience of your physical fitness helps and then as you get into the job you can work on that kind of stuff”.
All the training you need will be provided on the job, and in terms of the time commitment involved, he says they will take everything you are willing to give.
There are 7 fire departments in Lacombe County, one in each municipality and they currently have about 160 volunteers, ideally Bussiere says they would like to see that number closer to 200.
To learn more about the requirements and opportunities available, click here.